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I was diagnosed with Pityriasis Rosea by a specialist after initially being wrongly diagnosed as having a fungal infection for which my GP gave me a course of Itraconazole which obviously did nothing to assist the rashes. I read a posting on this site by 'littlebum' and one other (whose name I can't remember) in Sept in which they said that steriods and penicillin cured their rashes. I spoke to my GP and asked for the same. He prescribed oral steriods (6 a day-5mg) and Betamethasone (0.1%) external cream with penicillin (4 a day 250mg), and low and behold, the rashes, which were extensive and had taken hold all over my chest, stomach, groin, arms, armpits, neck (front and back), bottom, lower and upper back, all cleared up and totally disappeared.

The specialist said that I was likely to have the rashes until the end of October, and that they could possibly last until December even, therefore I have no doubt, that despite the fact that the GP's and specialists say the condition is self-limiting, i.e. it clears up eventually on its own, that the steroids and penicillin assisted greatly to get rid of the horrible rashes which were all over my body, and did so in a period of just 5 days.

My thanks to 'littlebum' and the other person for posting their experiences, which if I had not read, I would probably still be sitting at home wallowing about how terrible my body looked. Fortunately my body is 100% back to normal without any remnants of the rashes that were all over me. You would never guess that I ever had any type of rash on my body just over a week ago, which is now completely blemish free!!

So the moral of my story is medication does seem to make a difference (possibly speeding up the recovery process) and the body does return to normal despite the fact that it looks horrifying each time you look at it with the rashes all over you and when you think this is never going to clearup or even if it does, it will surely leave some scars...

I hope this helps some of you out there who are in the thick of it just like I was a couple weeks ago as I know how I was feeling then, and I'm so relieved now that it's all over and done with... Good luck!!

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  • Posted

    Wow! That sounds pretty impressive... I *touchwood* seem to be over the worst but am left with some itchy bits still - most of my rash appears to have faded to just leave a brownish mark (though these still itch at night) , except on my arm where it is still kind of salmonny coloured... I had no luck with GPs, who all told me essentially get lost, ignored me when I cried/.... I eventually made such a fuss when I went back that I finally got a dermatology referral, but that won't be until 20th Nov!! I'm so glad for you that your Dr was so much more understanding, as all mine did was prescribe me the same antihistamines I had for hayfever (admittedly this helped me stay a little more sane than I otherwise would have been!) and some 0.5% hydorcortisone in piddling little 15g tubes! I really wishe someone would do a proper conclusive trial of all the different things that get discussed here... the fact that what works for some doesn't for others makes me think it is probably a multifactorial disease, not just one thing...
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  • Posted

    I absolutely agree with your final point there Itchy Girl - if only there were more studies into this condition, or more information available, there wouldn't be so many people misdiagnosed.

    Thanks to finding this website, I'm now convinced I've got PR, although I can't see my GP to confirm this for another 2 days.

    I hope my story helps someone diagnose their PR, as all cases seem to be a little different and hearing from others has certainly helped me.

    My 'herald' patch is on my right forearm, dead centre, and looked exactly like a bite at first (red skin, small lump). Eventually it became circular with a perfect pink ring around it. It looked like a burn and didn't hurt or itch, so I ignored it. I remember thinking \"I hope it goes away before my honeymoon\" (also my first holiday in 10 years!). Obviously, it didn't.

    On the last night of my holiday - [b:e3809e175b]at least[/b:e3809e175b] 3-4 weeks after the 'herald' patch, which I understand is abnormally long - I got out of the shower and noticed some small red blotches under my right armpit leading towards my collar bone. I showed my husband and we agreed they were probably from being in the glorious Portugal sun all day. I was annoyed, but decided to wear that strapless dress regardless!

    Fast forward one week, upon getting out of the bath I noticed these spots were looking very red. I saw in the mirror that to my horror they had from nowhere spread over the entire right side of my neck, and these new ones now [i:e3809e175b]do [/i:e3809e175b]look similar to the 'herald' patch.

    Over the weekend the rashes spread to my chest, back and sides, there are a few on both arms, a couple on my stomach, then one on the back of each knee (!) and a lonely one on my bum! I couldn't see a doctor on my first Monday back at work, so went to the pharmacist in my break. She looked at my arm and said \"[i:e3809e175b]That's a perfect example of ringworm[/i:e3809e175b]\".

    I asked for the strongest stuff they had to treat it and they gave me Daktarin Gold (usually for athlete's foot). According to what I'd read online, ringworm would take up to two weeks to show improvement, but with this super-strength, super-expensive cream, I expected an improvement more quickly. I've since spent £40 on this anti-fungal cream (the tubes are a pathetic 15mg and £5 a pop), £38 on 4 polo neck tops, avoided contact with my husband and kittens and made myself damn miserable!

    The cream obviously hasn't helped and now I've found out about PR I am certain this is what I have. I'll still go to the GP to confirm.

    My timeline so far goes:


    Mid-end September[/b:e3809e175b] - Herald patch first appears

    [b:e3809e175b]24th October[/b:e3809e175b] - small localised rash

    [b:e3809e175b]29th October[/b:e3809e175b] - massive outbreak on neck

    [b:e3809e175b]3rd November[/b:e3809e175b] - smaller rashes have spread all over my body

    [b:e3809e175b]5th November[/b:e3809e175b] - tiny flakes of dry skin are now appearing on the inside of my polo necks

    [b:e3809e175b]12th November[/b:e3809e175b] - no further rashes that I can see, but the ones I have are [i:e3809e175b]seriously [/i:e3809e175b]itchy

    Hot showers and baths definitely make it worse, but as I was misdiagnosed I have not tried any solutions. However after reading as much as I can find about PR, I'm not sure there is anything I can do except wait it out.

    I probably shouldn't wear polo neck tops to cover it, but I have a hard enough time at work without comments about this 'plague'.

    Thank you to everyone who has posted their experiences. I'm with you for the next 2 months or more.


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  • Posted

    Hello! Bizarrely, I still seem to be itchy even though you can barey see where the rash was on me now...! I just wanted to pop back and say something about my experience, now that mine is pretty much/almost over, as hardly anyone seems to come back with good news after they've cleared up!

    So, as you mention you have now Tracelle, I got to the dandruffy-flakes of skin-on-clothes stage probably 5-6ish weeks after the rash went bananas and all over me (that happened in the last week of Sept and thence began the Itchiest Time of My Whole Life!!) - so like you, i still had some itchy raised bits (generally these were the later patches, which tended to be on my arms/legs/groin area - nice!) while the patches on my tummy and boobs seemed to first of all look a bit less ngry and one by one seemed to dry out and flake. Even when the whole rash area had faded to a paler pink and I'd seemed to stop getting new patches, I itched (though maybe not quite as badly), and I flaked for ages - it felt a bit like I was a snake shedding my skin, only v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y!! I now feel ok pretty much, but if I get stressed or hot, or (as is common with heating inside/cold weather outside at the moment) if the temperature changes suddenly, I get itchy all of a sudden. I find myself regularly panicking it might be starting again, and have to try to restrain myself from flipping out and checking, if I am in a public place! So, think mine is gone, but I don't quite feel like my skin is back to normal yet...

    So, rough synopsis of my experience, to give anyone still in the throes of the worse bit some hope!

    WHOLE of August, if not before, and lasting into Sept: Mega tiredness! i feltachey and crap, had a racing heart, and generally couldn't understand why I physically seemed to need about a third more sleep than normal. Went to Dr several times and even had tests for anaemia, glandular fever etc - all negative.

    Early-mid Sept - started exercising at the gym again afer a good year off exercising - enjoyed this as a way of letting off steam as was VERY stressed over work and money matters (hmmm - probably factors in all this!)

    Mid Sept - thought I had ringworm on my tummy, which was vry itchy but small. Was pretty upset even about this one patch, and felt gross as I assumed I picked it up from the gym, with it being roughly where the T shirt meets the waistband area. Asked a nurse when in for a routine checkup - was told it looked like eczema andnot ringworm.

    Few days later, it was much bigger, looked JUST like ringworm, and I had another one or two smaller patches - got very upset and bought antifunga cream... it didn't work and about one or two days later i was peppered with red raised patches - some looked like smaller ringworms, others more like red dots - felt gross, spent entire weekend crying, went to see pharmacist and bought LOADS of antifungal cream, and took Diflucan tablet, was generally angry about misdiagnosis by nurse... on theMonday, went to doctor, was treated with detachment and disinterest (grrr!!), given a print out from the internet, ignored while crying/not even offered a tissue even though there was a box on his desk...

    Early - mid October: So itchy I could have screamed! Luckily had some pretty strong antihistamines leftover from summer (hayfever) so took these to help... rash kept spreading, itching, found this site, cried LOTS, felt like a freak, slathered myself in calamine lotion, couldn't find enough cover-up clothes, couldn't wear proper bras, etc etc.. went back to see different doctor with boyfriend present - boyfriend agreed this doctor also very rude, though after me making a huge fuss she did eventually agree to send me to the dermatologist on the basis that my eczema might be making it worse. Got prescribed anticortisone 0.5% cream - this helped a very little and at least didn't turn me into a smelly chalk monster like calamine!

    THEN, I reached a sort of 'crisis point' - had been meant to get up v

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  • Posted

    I cannot believe doctors. The first one you saw sounds awful, is he that desensitised that he can't offer a tissue to someone so obviously upset right in front of him? Terrible.

    I'm really pleased for you that you seem to be over the worst of it now smile It's shocking what stress can do to people. I admit to being stressed most if not all of the time, which is why it was so odd for mine to show up after a lovely relaxing, albeit short, holiday. I didn't mention in my first post that I also had a bad cold which obviously 'let the PR in'.

    Well..I saw the doctor yesterday as planned but he would not hear it when I said I didn't think it could be ringworm. He was terribly confused that I had been using strong anti fungal cream for two weeks with no improvement, but \"It looks like ringworm\" so I guess that means it [b:223a7c7a1d]must [/b:223a7c7a1d]be then, doctor!

    Knowing it might be frowned upon, I said tentatively that I had attempted some self-diagnosis on the internet (which he said was not discouraged, a good sign I thought) and told him I thought it could be PR.

    He said 'No it isn't' then proceeded to recite his text book to me: \"PR is a salmon coloured herald patch on the trunk, then it spreads in a Christmas tree pattern across the back\".

    This was a young doctor obviously recently qualified with a good memory for literature. I explained my symptoms from the start all over again. I thought at one point he was going to look PR up on the computer but he changed his mind.

    And he sent me away with a different anti fungal cream.


    I will use it religiously for a week, until - work permitting - I can go back to see another doctor, and this time I will have to try and be more forceful.

    I'm doubting myself now, but I just know in my gut it is PR not ringworm. Were it ringworm, I'm pretty damn sure my husband would've caught it from me in the weeks before it spread from ym arm to my neck.

    I'm at my wits end but trying not to stress as I know that will make it worse. In the past day (after seemingly slowing down) it has spread again. I definitely have a few more splotches on my stomach and arms.

    Thank you for letting me rant - even if no one reads this, it's just great to get it out of my system a little.

    I will hang in there and persevere with the anti fungal cream for another week then hope and pray the next doctor I see will [i:223a7c7a1d]listen[/i:223a7c7a1d] to me.


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    • Posted

      Hi I went to the doctor and I was told it was ringworm and then I went back to the doctor week later as it wasn't getting any better and the rash was getting worse I was given stronger cream I done this for a week and then I went back again and he gave me oral antifungal tablets and more cream and I diagnose myself is it was just getting worse and worse and when I went back to the doctor and told him that I thought I had pr he said I'm not convinced I told him to go and get another doctor and the other doctor did confirm it and so did the dermatologist I have since changed my doctor. It's been 4 weeks no change yet but I'm hopeful

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've found all this info very useful. My son has recently started at uni, came home for a weekend and I noticed these marks on his torso. I told him to monitor them and if they didnt improve to go to doctor on his next trip home. (I admit to thinking it may be ringworm) As they were getting worse he went to the drs, and she immediately doagnosed PR. Told him there was nothing he could do about it - often effects teenagers apparently. And as he's only just started uni maybe the stress of that might be a factor. She said on average it takes three weeks to get to its works, remains for 3 weeks, then gradually fades to nothing for the last 3 weeks. He is a lot happier just knowing what he has and although he's still itchy can live with it knowing the end is in sight....So our doctor gets a brownie point! :wink:
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  • Posted

    I am soooo glad i stumbled upon this site! I am a 32yr old female, and I started to get spots all over my torso about 10 days ago. I was in a slight panic as i was convinced it was bed bugs! I couldn't sleep and manicly cleaned my bedding and hoovered everywhere. I kept waking up with more spots, until eventually they started to grow bigger and flakey.

    I was reading on a forum with people talking about their bedbug experiences until one girl wrote that she thought she had bedbugs, went to the doctor and he diagnosed PR. She posted photographs, also of the herald patch, and i was amazed as that was exactly like my symptoms.

    I went to the doctor yesterday and said \"doctor, there's something wrong with me and i think it's Pityriasis Rosea\". He looked at me with a raised eyebrow, like \"oh not one of those people who self-diagnose\". He looked at my symptoms, gave me a smile and said \"Do you want my job?\". I was right! Thank goodness it wasn't bed bugs!!!!!!!

    I just do not want to have this for much longer....i'm reading horror stories that it can last up to a year. I'm just very glad it's winter. It's only itchy when i'm in bed or in a hot shower.

    Anyway, just wanted to share. I feel so much better knowing a) it's not bedbugs, and b) i'm not a freak and not alone!!


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  • Posted

    my 5 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with PR, she has had the 'herald' patch on her back for about 2 - 3 weeks and has just started getting the smaller patches. She has not been unwell or complained of itching so far so hopefully it doesnt get any worse (although, after reading about it i am sure it will sad ).
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  • Posted

    To the original poster (if in fact you ever check this site?) I had a question re: your treatment, since I've been suffering from this horrid condition since January (we're almost into April now, obviously): you mention oral steriods (6 a day-5mg) and Betamethasone (0.1%) external cream with penicillin (4 a day 250mg) - can you be more specific as to the medications you were prescribed - what was the name of the steroids, and did the penicillin have a proper name? thanks in advance for your help!
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    • Posted

      I didn't start this post but I had PR Begining last October to February.  My derm kept prescribing silly creams that didn't work.  I used head and shoulder shampoo, cpryllic soap...all sorts of things.  Nothing made it go away. So I did more research and saw that a few people tried's an antibiotic and it worked.  I had to strong-arm my derm until he gave in.  The antibiotic didn't make the rash disappear, but it prevented new ones from developing.  I also went to the tanning salon 4 times within 12 days.  Lots of other pr folks claimed that this works, especially if you start going within the first month of the pr appearance.  I didn't start going to the tanning salon until month 3. Yet it still seemed to work on fading the active sores.

      for the most part my pr is dark spots or octave sores.  However when I touch my shoulder blades, I can stil feel slightly raised areas.  Not sure what that's about.  Maybe my body is still ridding itself of the virus..I don't really know. I've decided to do a whole body cleanse/ccadida cleanse for a few months..maybe that will help (no alcohol, processed sugars) just veggies and fish for protein and tons of water.  I'll update this post on my results.

      good luck 

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your detailed account; I really appreciate the information. I'm on the tail-end of this lousy PR journey myself (I've been using Emu oil, vitamin E oil, Burt's Bees Shea & Honey Body Butter and even Neutrogena Sesame Shower Oil to help moisturize the dry healing patches). However, there still seems like there are some 'newer' (more recent) spots that are still red, and obviously I'm so over it being we're almost into May and I've been dealing with this since late January. If all else fails, I may take the erythromyacin route, too. Also following a super-clean diet myself these days (for other health reasons), but hoping it will help as well.
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