The doctor has confirmed that you have a case of pityriasis rosea. Most conditions disappear in about four to eight weeks, and specialists rarely instruct patients to take any medication. There's no way to speed up the healing process, so your only directions will be to sit back and wait for the rashes to go away. You can still find a way to get some relief from all of that itching, however.
Medications such as hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion can help decrease the itching. Over-the-counter oral antihistamines like Benadryl might provide relief for those who are old enough to take them. As with any over-the-counter medication, check with a doctor for safety precautions in younger children, older adults, or if you are talking other medication. If the itching is still too intense, your doctor might prescribe an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. Don't hesitate to talk to a doctor about the situation.
Other home remedies include avoiding hot baths and taking lukewarm showers. You might try buying an oatmeal bath treatment or making your own oatmeal bath just like people do for chicken pox, poison ivy and poison oak relief. When drying off from a shower, be sure to pat the skin lightly, and apply a moisturizer so the skin doesn't dry out further. Dry skin will only intensify the itching. Lastly, pack away those wool and synthetic fiber clothes, which may make your rash itch more. Opt instead for cotton or silk choices to pamper your skin until the rash clears up.
Pityriasis rosea might have taken you by surprise, but thankfully this skin condition shall soon pass. Until that pesky rash clears up, you can learn more about pityriasis rosea by clicking the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Pityriasis Rosea." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_pityriasis.html
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. "Pityriasis Rosea." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/pityriasis_rosea.html
- Lichenstein, Richard. "Pityriasis Rosea." eMedicine. (Aug. 16, 2009) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/762725-overview
- Mayo Clinic. "Pityriasis Rosea." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pityriasis-rosea/DS00720
- Medline Plus. "Pityriasis Rosea." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/000871.htm
- Merck. "Pityriasis Rosea." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch116/ch116d.html
- Schwartz, Robert. "Human Herpesvirus 6." eMedicine. (Aug. 16, 2009)http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1134049-overview
- WebMD. "Pityriasis Rosea - Topic Overview." (Aug. 16, 2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/pityriasis-rosea-topic-overview