Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is considered a common skin condition thought to be caused by a viral infection. It typically presents as a single, round, salmon-colored patch with peripheral flaking called a “herald patch” or “mother patch.” Approximately a week later many similar, smaller patches erupt, typically over the trunk. Around 10% of patients have a preceding flu-like illness. The skin patches can be concerning in appearance but are usually asymptomatic. Occasionally, the skin lesions can be itchy or swollen. The rash lasts around 2-3 months. It is important to distinguish this rash from secondary syphilis, which may be similar in appearance. Pityriasis rosea resolves on its own—the symptoms associated with the rash can be treated with topical steroids, light therapy, and oral antihistamines.