Pityriasis Rosea (cont.)

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Who gets pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is, for the most part, equally common between the two sexes, although there is a slightly higher occurrence reported in women. It generally occurs in children and young adults between 10-35 years of age. Pityriasis rosea has no racial predominance. Most people only get pityriasis once in their lifetime.

What causes pityriasis rosea?

The exact cause of pityriasis rosea remains unknown. Most recently, pityriasis rosea has been associated most strongly with a virus from the human herpes family called human herpes virus type 6 (HHV6). Pityriasis rosea is not caused by or known to be associated with the common types of herpes virus that cause genital or oral herpes. While the mode of transmission (how it gets passed between people) of pityriasis rosea is also unknown, respiratory contact has been postulated. Pityriasis does not seem to be directly or immediately contagious to close contacts or medical providers exposed to the rash. Most people with a known exposure to pityriasis rosea do not seem to contract the rash.

What are pityriasis rosea symptoms and signs?

Most people do not notice any symptoms with pityriasis rosea except for the appearance of the rash itself. Mild, intermittent itching is reported in about 50% of individuals affected, especially when people exercise or take hot showers. Itching seems to increase with stress. Rarely, it is accompanied by flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, fatigue, nausea, aching, and decreased appetite. Most people are otherwise in very good health and don't feel any other symptoms.


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