Pityriasis rosea

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Pityriasis rosea is a harmless rash that can appear on the back, chest or abdomen. Find out its causes and how it is diagnosed and treated.

Key points

  • Pityriasis rosea is a harmless skin rash that is thought to result from a virus.
  • It starts with a single, red, scaly patch (“herald patch”) on the chest, back, abdomen or upper arms before forming smaller scaly patches one to three weeks later.
  • The rash usually disappears on its own within six to eight weeks.
  • To ease any itchiness, keep your child’s skin moisturized, expose it to small amounts of direct sunlight and consider using over-the-counter antihistamines or prescribed steroid creams.
  • See your child’s doctor if your child experiences pityriasis rosea along with severe itchiness, pain or fever.
Last updated: July 7th 2016