My greeting with Pityriasis Rosea

What is Pityriasis Rosea? How do you get it?

Well, I noticed a large red itchy patch on my skin, the day that I was leaving for Florida. Apparently this is the ‘mother’ patch of Pityriasis before the smaller ones appear. But on my last few days there, I started to develop a scabby, itchy rash all over my body. It started spreading from my arms, to my stomach, onto my back and then finally a few moved onto my legs.

Here is a few photos of when it first started to break out all over my body. After this, it started to dry out, appear darker and grow a lot more of them. I didn’t take any later photos as I completely forgot and it wasn’t too sightly either.

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I went to the doctors on the day that I got back from holiday. My doctor was pretty unsure at first and thought that it might have been my Psoriasis having an attack. I told him that I have had psoriasis all of my life, so he started looking more into other solutions. He came across Pityriasis Rosea and it seemed to match it perfectly.

Finally getting onto what it actually is..

It turns out that Pityriasis Rosea is a form of skin infection that appears on the skin (mainly all over the body, but avoiding the face, hands and feet). There is no known reason to why it happens, and there is no remedy either. It will cure itself over time, but as I have read, it can take from 6-16 weeks to heal completely.

I thought that I would write this post as I have never even heard of this condition before and thought that I would share my experience with readers. This condition isn’t contagious and it doesn’t cause any harm to your health – just think of it as a severe rash, which can be very itchy (as mine was).

How do people reduce this?

I went to Twitter and Google to do some research on how people try to reduce the itching and swelling of the rash. I discovered that a lot of people have gotten this before! Some people have had it several times, although it is very rare that you will get it more than once in a lifetime. So I was on forums trying to find some ideas, and I found a lot of comments saying that showering in Head & Shoulders. This will help reduce the rash and the dryness, as it obviously treats dandruff from the scalp. I also used E45 Itch Relief CreamΒ twice a day, whilst showering in Head & Shoulders every single day. I feel that this has made my skin heal so much faster!
I can happily say that the marks rapidly reduced and calmed down on my body.

How did I feel?

Although people could possibly think of this as a severe rash, it really brought my mood down about my appearance. Baring in mind, I was covered from my neck to my legs in dark red, itchy patches. This made me want to cover up and not show anybody, but I have gotten use to it and hey, they say that the sun can help fasten healing!

Did mine heal?

Yes, after using the products I mentioned above my patches did disappear. It cleared up within a few weeks and my skin was back to normal.

Has mine returned?

No. Not yet, and it has been six years since I initially wrote this post.

I will be approving comments for others to see, but I will not be replying for the foreseeable future.

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Comments

  1. Jolene
    September 21, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    Ugh!!! I have this too!! How long did it actually last for ?

    • September 22, 2015 / 2:19 am

      It didn’t last 3 months at all! Mine lasted probably 1 and a half weeks, then the stabbing took about 1-2 weeks to disappear – I feel like head and shoulders as shower gel helped a lot! πŸ™‚

      • Jolene
        September 22, 2015 / 1:44 pm

        Thank you!!! I have had it 3 weeks.. Mine looks like yours.. Not as severe as some of the pictures I have seen!! The initial ones are spreading out bigger but the color is fading while the newer ones are more pinkish red!! Ugh this sucks..: but thankful it isn’t dangerous or contagious:) did it leave any scars? And we’re yours various sizes?

      • Jacqueline Bradshaw
        April 27, 2020 / 12:56 am

        I got a patch under my arm that originally was diagnosed as ringworm because that was the only mark on my body and it badly itched. About two weeks later I started to get very itchy bumps that spread rapidly and severely first on my stomach, my back my buttocks my groin, and really bad behind my armpits. So I went to urgent Care after doing some Google research and deciding that I had scabies even though I haven’t had any contact except with my children with anyone else I’m a single mother and there is no possible way I’ve had no visitors in my home. A week later I had an appointment with my regular PCP which is an old-time doctor so he’s been around the block and he told me I was misdiagnosed and that I had pityriasis rosea and that is supposed ringworm was actually a herald patch. Even though he told me that, I am now sitting with my second dose of permethrin cream that was prescribed for scabies because I’m still not fully convinced that is pityriasis rosea, even though it would be very uncommon to have ringworm and then a week later develop scabies although the itching is severe and I wake up in the middle of the night scratching and scratching. So this body bump rash that I’m scratching until it bleeds had started April 12th it is now April 26th but the ringworms/herald patch still don’t know what it is who I want to believe yet is slowly fading. I guess it will just take time to figure out. The only reason I lean toward scabies is because of the bumps that are slowly popping up and itching really bad on my legs to my knees and a couple down my arms. And then I lean toward the pityriasis because of the herald patch that originally was thought to be ringworm both diagnosed by the way by a very young right out of med school physician but my old-time PCP doctor he said he was very confident that it was pityriasis rosea. I’ll have to check back and let you know I’m hoping it’s the latter because if it’s scabies it could be an ongoing nightmare with washing everything constantly and vacuum everything and I am a one-man army actually a one woman army with two young children and we don’t go anywhere because of the stay-at-home order for covid-19.

    • January 11, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      I have this how long does it take to go away ? how does it look when they go away ?

      • January 13, 2017 / 2:25 pm

        Hey Peter, mine lasted about 4 weeks if I remember correctly.
        Luckily, mine healed perfectly and had no visible marks afterwards! πŸ™‚

        Hope this helps!
        I just washed myself in Head & Shoulders to stop the dryness and itchiness πŸ™‚

  2. September 23, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Hahaha! Yeah nobody knew what it was, not even my doctor for a while!
    My mother wouldn’t let me out because she thought I had Scabies haha!

    Mine took a while to start too! I’ve had one big one by itself before and it’s gone. But the second time, they all grew!

    Luckily I only had them on my arms and stomach/back – none on my face or legs! πŸ˜€

    • Jolene
      September 24, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Wait! So did you have it more than once? The first one started about 3 weeks ago on me… I really hope mine doesn’t last for months and months. How long ago did you have it?

      • September 24, 2015 / 7:11 pm

        I had this at the time I posted it, probably a year and a half ago!
        Well I had just one blob before and thought nothing of it, but it looked exactly the same! So I’m assuming so!

        Some people only have it once in their life and others can repeatedly get it :/

        I haven’t had it since though luckily πŸ™‚

        Nah, I think it’ll go by next week πŸ™‚

        Yeah my big one lasted quite a while! But they heal pretty quickly for me πŸ™‚

  3. Jolene
    September 25, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Oh okay: ) I gotcha.. Thank you so much for getting back to me:) Mine started while we were on vacation and I was so scared that it was bed bugs. lol… Mine seem to look a lot better in the morning when I wake up but get more pigmented throughout the day. Especially after I work out or shower.. You have been a life saver, since as I said, I don’t know anyone who has ever even heard of it!!!

    • Jolene
      September 25, 2015 / 10:56 am

      one more question? Did the ones you got later take as long to go away as the first ones?

      • September 25, 2015 / 5:08 pm

        I think mine seemed to go away around the same time.. Although I think they lasted the longest on the insides of my “biceps” – they were super itchy and scabby, yuck!

        They weren’t too far apart from each other though πŸ™‚

    • September 25, 2015 / 5:06 pm

      Hahaha that’s no problem πŸ™‚
      I feel like Head & Shoulders was a saviour for me, washing in it every day πŸ™‚

      I thought it was bed bugs too, when I had just the one dot I thought it was a spider bite and then my mother thought scabies hahaha!

      Are yours itchy yet? Mine were super itchy, they say don’t itch them though or they’ll scar!
      I didn’t have any marks on me at all after it πŸ˜€

  4. Jolene
    September 26, 2015 / 2:55 am

    Hey! No I feel so fortunate because mine don’t itch at all.. I read online that only about 50% of people are itchy with this rash. I haven’t been putting anything on them at all. I will totally shower with head and shoulders if that helps to clear them up tho. I am SO over it.. The first ones appeared about 3 and a half weeks ago. I’m glad it isn’t contagious. I was going to post a picture of my rash on here but I couldn’t figure out how to do it lol

    • September 27, 2015 / 7:02 pm

      Haha! Yeah I don’t think they let you send photos on here! Feel free to send me an email to nuggetstump.blog@gmail.com though, if you want to πŸ™‚

      That’s good! Mine were SOOOOO itchy

      Yeah head & shoulders works so good, it gets rid of dry itchy skin πŸ™‚ so is good for that! I end up using it every now and then on my body for my psoriasis and it helps πŸ™‚

      • Jolene
        September 29, 2015 / 5:41 pm

        Thanks! I’m going to email you:) are the pictures you have on here the beginning stages? Or was that as bad as it got?

  5. May
    March 13, 2016 / 9:49 am

    Thanks for the info! I have a lot of these on my stomach upper legs and arms. It appears in different sizes but I don’t think I have the biggest one or like their mother.

    • March 13, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      That’s no problem! I’m so happy that this post has helped people πŸ™‚
      Has yours started to disappear? Or has it just started?

      Weirdly, I had an experience with this before this big event haha..
      I had the mother one, just by itself like a year before. I thought it was a spider bite..

      Then the year later, I began to come up in loads of them and I recognised them! Luckily the doctor knew what it was and my mother could stop worrying that I had scabies or something haha!

      But I didn’t really have a really outstanding ‘mother’ one the second time!

  6. Katherine
    March 22, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Hi there! so glad I found your blog! I believe I am going through this now. It started off with a ‘mother one’ on my lower stomach and I just thought it was a random patch of eczema or something. But I have just come back from Barcelona and even though the weather wasn’t hot at all as it’s March, I thought maybe it’s just heat rash as it’s started to spread and is super itchy! I’m going to pop to town and get some H&S and E45 itch cream. Thank you so much for sharing! really appreciate it and I hope mine clears up as fast as yours did. Thanks again. Katherine x

    • March 26, 2016 / 6:55 pm

      That’s no problem, Katherine! I’m so glad that this has helped you a little! πŸ˜€

      It’s not the most glamorous looking thing to have on your body! Good luck! x

      • Maranda
        October 6, 2016 / 1:52 am

        I totally think I have the same thing! I have been researching and I thought bed bugs or something but I honestly think it looks like these pictures. And I do have one mother spot on my back that is bigger than the others and is ring shaped.

        • October 6, 2016 / 12:12 pm

          Hi Miranda, I hope my post helped you!
          I thought mine was a spider bite or something at first, until the others started ‘growing’ (I sound like I have Gremlin babies growing on me or something.. hahaha!).

          I found Head & Shoulders to be really good for it! It held back the itching and calmed down the redness of them πŸ™‚ x

  7. Heather
    July 6, 2016 / 2:41 am

    Wow I was so scared that I might have scabies or bed bugs and I couldn’t find what I might be suffering from!!! But then I found a photo that looked like what I’m going through, and it was yours!!! And after reading about this on medical websites and seeing other photos, I’m POSITIVE this is what I have! I’m so confused as to how it comes about though. Have you found any info on what could have personally caused it for you? I randomly came across a medical journal article about how omeprazole could be a cause, and I’ve just finished taking my first months worth of the medicine for heartburn symptoms, and then get this rash (Weird, right)… Anyway, I really want to thank you. (Such a bummer for my summer though, no beach for me anytime soon :/ )

    • August 17, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      I’m so glad this helped, Heather! πŸ˜€
      I went to the doctors about mine and he thought it was either one of two things but he said Pityriasis Rosea πŸ™‚

      I have no idea how it happens, they say that it just randomly happens! Some people it can return every now and then for the rest of their lives, others only get it once. I’ve only had it the once though!

      It’s not great, is it? People don’t understand either and think there’s something wrong with you or contagious haha! πŸ˜€

      I haven’t heard that you can get it from anything? I’ll have another look around the Internet! πŸ™‚

  8. Grave
    December 3, 2016 / 5:32 am

    Hi! I came across your blog, i currently have this rashes, may i know what type of head and shoulders you had uses? Thanks!

    • January 13, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      Hey lovely!
      I think I either used the original one, or possibly the apple one!
      I think the original one would be best, but I’m guessing that they’d all be suitable as they are for itchy, dry skin! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for commenting! Hope I helped! xx

  9. marley923
    January 31, 2017 / 4:03 am

    Hey I just recently found out that I have this. Mine didn’t start off with a large patch, instead I have one single one on my neck thats been there for a few weeks and I noticed just a few on my stomach. Over the past two weeks it’s gradually gotten worse and has spreader. I found two new ones on my back yesterday. I just bought the head and shoulders to use as a shower gel. I was curious if you used any topical ointments or oils after your shower?

    • January 31, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      Hey marley, I think I might have used E45 Anti Itch Relief Cream which is pretty good even when I have psoriasis πŸ™‚

  10. Carol Newell
    January 26, 2019 / 12:20 am

    Interesting to read so many people struggling with pityriasis rosea. I have had mine for 12 weeks and it’s still spreading. Thank you for writing the blog and providing some support to fellow sufferers. Carol

  11. Haze
    February 23, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    I still have the scars for 2yrs now and I have morena skin. I’m taking glutathione to lighten my skin and make those scars invisible. πŸ™

  12. Claire Bear
    April 15, 2019 / 7:19 am

    I had a rash just like this. It started on my abdomen and spread to my back all the way up my arms and down to my bottom area and upper thighs. It was red raised patches and spots I never saw a Christmas tree design or anything. My face, hands, calves, and feet were not affected. I do not remember it itching at all. It has been 3 months and most of it is gone. I still have 2 medium size patches on each upper thigh (they were much larger). Why/how did I get this and when will it go away? I remember feeling chills and sweaty when this rash started and felt I was having atypical heart attack symptoms for a female. I am 34 years old. I went to the hospital and everything looked good they said. I showed them the rash but they did not seem interested and just said it looked fungal and brushed it off. The doctor told me he was only checking my chest pains complaint and not the rash. I used Selson Blue on it but it did not do anything. I tried triple antibacterial ointment, caladryl, and etc…. Nothing seemed to help it improve. I even used Fells Naptha soap (super good for poison ivy). I am eating lots of onions and garlic. Should I go to a dermatologist? I do not know what they would do and it is mostly gone now.

  13. Andria James Jonea
    May 28, 2019 / 5:32 am

    I think I may have this going on now. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning to make sure. Mine started a little over a week ago. I thought it was an allergic reaction to apple juice!!! My stomach, pelvic area & my breasts seem to b most affected by these bumps. They didn’t itch at first but are beginning to now. Some are drying up while others are still a little pinkish in color. They aggravate me more than anything cause they don’t seem to be going away.

    Thanks for the suggestion about using the H&S shampoo for body wash. I will definitely try it. Thanks for the information and the pictures too. Most helpful.

    • nuggetstump571
      September 17, 2019 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment, Andria! I hope it has healed up for you by now?
      I’m glad I could (try to) help!

  14. Betsy
    June 11, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks for the info, Katherine. I was just diagnosed with pityriasis rosea by my dermatologist. It started with a few large patches and after a week came the small rashes. It has now been two weeks and is starting to get really itchy. The rashes have spread to my neck, forehead, arms and legs. I hope it clears up soon.

    • nuggetstump571
      September 17, 2019 / 6:34 pm

      Hey Betsy! Thank you for your comment – has it gotten better for you?? πŸ™‚

  15. April L.
    June 27, 2019 / 2:32 am

    I have this too, everything that everyone mentioned resonates with what am experiencing. It began with the large patch, quarter size then followed by smaller ones all over my body and legs. It seem to get worse through the day. I’ve had it for 4 weeks now, some of them are drying and scabbing. CeraVe Itch Relief seemed to help with the itch. I take Claritin first thing in the morning and then Benadryl at night. Also, I use cetaphil bar soap non drying but I’ll switch it to Head and Shoulders. This has certainly made me feel sad almost on a daily basis, I have to remind myself that this will pass, it’ll heal itself, it’s harmless, and it’s not contagious.

    • nuggetstump571
      September 17, 2019 / 6:34 pm

      Hey April, is it looking better now? Sorry for my slow reply! πŸ˜€

  16. Janica
    November 15, 2019 / 5:37 am

    I have this now! And mine looks worse than yours!

  17. Sabrina A
    December 7, 2019 / 5:37 am

    I’ve had mine since sept 13, 2019. It still not going away, slowly spreading. Now I see it on my face sadly. Hope it goes soon.

  18. Celina Cooper
    December 24, 2019 / 5:34 am

    Hi, very thankful to have found this blog. I’m currently on my 3rd week and it’s spreading. Has anyone had their symptoms return from their first episode? I’m relieved to know this will pass but and very nervous at the thought of another episode.

  19. Gina
    February 23, 2020 / 12:50 am

    I just got this recently, but mine are a really dark red shade. I’ve notice a couple starting to peel which is making me worried. Does that mean it’s going to leave scars?

    • nuggetstump571
      April 20, 2020 / 1:19 pm

      Hey Gina, how is it looking now? πŸ˜€

  20. ellie
    June 20, 2020 / 4:29 am

    Hi! I just recently went to a urgent care in my area and she said if my symptoms progress then it might be this. I’m trying oatmeal baths, but what kind of head and shoulders worked for you specifically? As far as I know I thought head and shoulders only sold shampoo. I don’t have a mother spot either so that’s why she though it might not be this, but it couldn’t hurt. Thanks!

  21. Dante Sparda
    July 7, 2020 / 2:41 am

    I have had something that looks like Pityriasis Rosea, it been there on my chest and few on my back for around 10 years now, I can’t get rid of it, I tried everything, the only thing that works was mixing olive oil and lemon and apply it on my body, and expose my self to a burning direct sunlight to burn my skin down till those goes away, the problem I get sunburn and super massive dry tanned skin and I get rid of those nasty Pityriasis Rosea spots. However, it keep coming back as soon as 2 or 3 months, I am really sad I forgot how my body looks like without them, I can’t enjoy swimming or going gym or taking off my short at home or anything, I can’t even get married or date or anything, imma be 30 soon and honestly this thing just killed everything for me.

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