What is it?

Pityriasis rosea is a rash that often begins as an oval spot on the face, chest, abdomen or back. This is called a herald patch and may be up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) across. Then you may get smaller spots that sweep out from the middle of the body in a shape that looks like drooping pine-tree branches. The rash can be itchy.

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Signs & symptoms

Pityriasis rosea typically begins with an oval, slightly raised, scaly patch- called the herald patch- on the face, back, chest or abdomen. Before the herald patch appears, some people have headache, fatigue, fever or sore throat.

A few days to a few weeks after the herald patch appears, you may notice smaller bumps or scaly spots across your face, back, chest or abdomen that look like a pine-tree pattern. The rash can cause itching


In most cases, your health care provider can identify pityriasis rosea by looking at the rash. You might need a scraping or possibly a skin biopsy, which involves taking a small piece of the rash for testing. This test can help tell a pityriasis rosea rash from other, similar rashes


Pityriasis rosea usually goes away on its own without treatment in 4 to 10 weeks. If the rash doesn't disappear by then or the itching bothers you, talk with the doctor about treatments. The condition clears up without scarring and usually doesn't come back.
If home remedies don't ease symptoms or shorten the duration of pityriasis rosea, your health care provider might prescribe medicine. Examples include corticosteroids and antihistamines.
Light therapy
Your health care provider might also suggest light therapy. In light therapy, you're exposed to natural or artificial light that may ease your symptoms. Light therapy may cause lasting spots of skin that are darker than usual (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), even after the rash clears.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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