Pityriasis Rosea Overview

Causes of Pityriasis Rosea

After receiving a diagnosis from a doctor, the next thing you might wonder is how you ended up with this condition. Did you touch something that irritated your skin? Do you have an allergy to a certain type of food? Are you coming down with some kind of virus?

Narrowing down your diagnosis to pityriasis rosea might be easier than finding out what exactly caused it. Pityriasis rosea is not a result of a fungus or bacterial infection, so over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and prescription medications won't bring you relief. Likewise, because pityriasis rosea is not a bacterial infection, antibiotics will have no effect. Right now, not even the best doctor and his prescription pad can make an outbreak of pityriasis go away.

Since pityriasis rosea can range from mildly itchy to severe, some people who get it think they're having an allergic reaction. The connection may make sense -- with rashes sprouting up all over on the body, the condition may remind people of a previous allergy discovery. But specialists have yet to determine whether or not touching something or ingesting a certain kind of food can cause pityriasis rosea.

Some experts have suggested that pityriasis rosea is caused by a virus. Specifically, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and 7 (HHV-7) may play a small part in pityriasis rosea [source: Schwartz]. But no one has ever found any evidence of a viral infection, such as genetic material, and patients have never reported any symptoms, such as fevers, associated with the condition. Doctors have noted, however, that the use of certain drugs, including barbituates, may induce pityriasis rosea, and people with other skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis, acne or dandruff, tend to have a better chance of getting it, too.

While you might not be able to pinpoint a cause of your pityriasis roasea, you can still treat the symptoms if you are uncomfortable. Read on to find out what you can do to deal with this itchy condition.