Pityriasis Rosea - Treatments

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What is the treatment for pityriasis rosea?

Most cases of pityriasis rosea require no treatment and resolve spontaneously. Treatment is not necessary if the rash does not cause symptoms. Typically, pityriasis will usually clear on its own in nine weeks without medical intervention or therapy.

The most common symptom is itching, which can be treated with topical steroid creams (like hydrocortisone cream) and oral antihistamines (like diphenhydramine [Benadryl], loratidine [Claritin], etc.). These will not shorten the duration of the rash but will decrease the itching. Another treatment for itching is UVB light or sunlight. However, exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. Generally, the best treatment is to avoid being overheated by reducing exercise and avoiding hot showers and baths.

There has been some evidence of reduced duration of pityriasis rosea with the off-label use of the antibiotic erythromycin or off-label use of antiviral medications such as acyclovir (Zovirax) or famciclovir (Famvir). However, neither of these medications has been proven to be uniformly effective in the treatment of pityriasis rosea and they are not usually necessary or required for treatment.

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Comment from: Monica, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 26

My 10-year-old son has had pityriasis rosea for the past 7 months. The rash started in August 2013 and we made several visits to various dermatologists and used all sorts of creams but nothing worked. After the anguish of not knowing what it was up to November, a biopsy was done and the results indicated that he had pityriasis rosea. This for me, was a relief because I thought a cure would be easily found. However, I became more depressed upon realizing that it has no cure. The dermatologist continued prescribing various creams especially to stop the itching. At the beginning of this month (February 2014), he prescribed 5% salicylic acid in petroleum jelly. He applied this twice a day. He also prescribed Quadriderm cream, applying it once a day. He also took erythromycin estolate Tablets. This medication was for 10 days but within a week of taking, the rash started to fade away. It is such a relief and I wanted to share this with everyone who could be in similar situations. The doctor has now prescribed 15% azelaic acid to assist clearing the scars. He has continued with the 5% salicylic acid in petroleum jelly but once a day as well as the erythromycin tablets. He is taking these for 10 more days.

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Comment from: Audra, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I got this rash almost three weeks ago. At first, I thought it was hives but then went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pityriasis rosea. I kind of knew it wasn't hives because Benadryl didn't clear it up for me. After the first week, it was all over my torso, back, and some on my neck and arms which itched the worst. The doctors told me to wait it out they even told me to keep working out and just put hydrocortisone all over myself to stop the itching. Whenever I was sweating it would itch unbearably and I would get more. I went to my acupuncturist who told me to take lukewarm/cold showers and to get some sun. He also gave me some herbs called "YinVive" or Liu Wei Di Huang Pian. Well, almost three weeks later, thanks to 5 tanning sessions and taking the herbs three times a day, I'm about 85% better. I figure one more week and two more tans should kick this thing for good. I also cleaned up my diet a little bit stopped drinking alcohol, cut out sweets, and lowered my carbohydrates, and started taking multi-vitamins again. Seriously, when doctors tell you to "wait it out" that's nonsense. There are remedies out there that can speed up the healing process.

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