Recurring pityriasis rosea

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I was interested to read other experiences. I am currently experiencing a recurrance of pityriasis rosea. I had the first occurance about 9 or 10 years ago and my Dr too was not only surprised to see a rare disorder but to see it in someone at my age. I was 27 then. Even more surprised now at late 30's!

I too thought there was a patch of ringworm on my arm and recently had an awful cold and took 2 days off work (that's really rare for me as I'm a bit a workaholic). I didn't pay any attention to it at first, the spots that now cover my tummy, and a fear of having chicken pox actually made me look into what I had. When I read the symptons I realised that my symptons are classic. I would have left it at that, because I'm not suffering at all - not even itchy spots, provided I don't scratch the herald patch - I don't even notice it. It was only when I read that only 2% recurs that I read on and found your experiences.

My herald patch and spots has been so typical in both cases that there is no doubt it is pityriasis rosea. My Dr the first time told me that it was most likely to be stress related.

My only curiosity this time is why now? Its made me consider taking a holiday in the sun (how often is the diagnosis to spend time in the sun?) to make sure I'm not opening myself up to to something more sinister - maybe this is natures little warning that I'm over doing it.

Does anyone else think like that?

0 likes, 72 replies

72 Replies

  • Edited

    Hi fionavon

    If it helps, I too have had PR before at the age of 38 and now again at the age of 53.

    The first time I had it I went to the GP and he said it was PR straight away.

    This time, although I knew what it was from previously I went to a GP for confirmation and he said it was ringworm and gave me anti fungal tablets and cream. I was horrified at the thought of ringworm so sought a second opinion and in doing this the immediate diagnosis was PR. I was so relieved to be honest as I hate taking anything I dont need so all the anti fungal stuff went in the bin unused.

    Both these times have been after recovering from a really heavy cold and chest infection.

    I would think the sun helps dry it out and even up the colour of the skin quicker.

    • Posted

      Whoa there.  One of the WORST things you can do for pityriasis rosea is let it dry out!  Keeping it moisturized also ensures less itching.  Do not let your pityriasis rosea get too dry!  It will in fact get worse instead of better.
    • Posted

       What do you find to be the best moisturizer?  Everything I've tried burns 


    • Edited

      I dried mine out and it went away quicker lol
  • Edited

    Not sure about this sun theory- I live in the middle East and have had it for 6weeks now- Doctor has said no sun!!!don't use lotions therefore no sun cream or chlorine- therefore no swimming pools but the sea is fine- only problem is , without suncream, i could only go after 5/6pm to avoid sunburn!!

    Can't wait til this is over as it's very un sightly and obviously i have to cover up a lot - even though it's hot!!

  • Posted

    Poor you, maybe the sun is not such a good idea.

    I have been using coconut moisturiser after showering every day which I find very soothing.

  • Posted

    I first suffered from PR 9 yrs ago, once 5 yrs later and have just had another attack. I am 48. I agree that the rash develops in the Springtime and usually when I am run down and I am usually stressed at work. However, in the meantime, I have also developed lichen planus under my arms and groin area which are really unsightly. I have seen 2 different skin specialists. Both have suggested that UV exposure could assist. I seem to develop the rash in areas which I never expose to the sun and never tan. Off to Spain next week for some vitamin D !
    • Posted

      I have also had a recurrence of PR and was diagnosed with lichen planus. I am now wondering if they are somehow related since reading that you had the same thing.

  • Posted

    I am suffering from this horrible \"illness\" for the 5th time - I am 35. this is the worst bout I have had and I am absolutely covered from head to toe, I even have patches on my face and huge patches on my neck that look like lovebites. Have had this for about 6 weeks now and it is showing no signs of fading, all the patches are merging into one and it looks horrible. I get it every time I have tonsolitis (4 times in last 12 months). It makes me feel so miserable looking like this and I find it unbelievable there is no treatment for it. Am considering hiring a sunbed just to see if it works
    • Posted


      I just saw your post and wanted to see if I can be of help as you say you can not get treatment. I am currently suffering from a virus which includes sore throat and chesty cough. Yesterday I woke to a second occurrence of PT. My first was two years ago and I was sent to a dermatologist who specialises in PT. he gave me cream and tablets that got rid of it very quickly. I have an appointment with him tomorrow morning and am hoping he gives me the same medication. I can let you know what they are if you like! I can't remember their names now but am certainly not going to throw away the left overs this time.

      Hope your PT hasn't returned again.

    • Posted

      Hi Lex!

      Any update on what those medications are? I have had this issue for about 2 months now. Thanks in advance!

    • Posted

      Hey Rob!

      Yes I do. I was prescribed:

      Erythromycin 250g tablets.

      Telfast 180g (this is an antihistamine as my doctor isn't one hundred percent that this time I have PR. He still gave me the other meds to treat it as well. I normally don't do that as I prefer no medicine unless totally necessary but I just had to get rid of this rash. It went in two days).

      DiproSalic ointment.

      Hope these help you!

    • Posted

      Hi , I have very similar to what you have , I had 3 big episodes , seems to get closer , did skin biopsy that confirms it. Every time they put me on steriods coz I can’t stand the itch and the pain of the heat , the patches get bigger and bigger and connect like a map around my chest, back , neck , between my thighs, under arms , and even on my arms and legs too. Let me know what is your last approach be? I am misrable!
    • Posted

      What treatment your dermatologist gave you? Please let me know, thank you
    • Posted

      Hi all,

      I have had recurring pityriasis rosea since I was 21. I am having an episode again in my mid-30's for the 6th or 7th time. I'm losing count. The last time I had it was 5 years ago and my doctor gave me something that did not cure it but decreased its severity and duration. The first time I had it it lasted almost a year and they thought it was mono related until my biopsy's proved otherwise. Though it is a virus it dose not seem to be contagious and I have never had anyone around me experience symptoms. I have had several biopsy's to prove it is recurring PR as most physicians don't believe me till they see the trail of biopsy evidence. My doctor just prescribed me with Apo-Valacyclovir that is an anti-viral medication. She thinks this is what they gave me in 2014 that helped reduce its spread and severity. I'll keep you posted once I know if it is helping or not. I also find that coconut oil or sesame oil rather than creams work best to keep it from cracking, bleeding and getting more irritated.... Sun has helped my skin after the rash is healing and starting to subside but I found it was a bit too harsh when the rash is still spreading. Steroid creams made it much more painful.... I find I get recurring flu and cold like symptoms with my outbreaks and chronic fatigue. Wishing you all quick recoveries and mild symptoms ahead.

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