Pityriasis rosea Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic staff
Pityriasis rosea symptoms include:

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Initial phase. Pityriasis rosea typically begins with a large, slightly raised, scaly patch — called the herald patch — on your back, chest or abdomen. Progression. Smaller fine, scaly spots usually appear across your back, chest or abdomen in a pine-tree pattern a few days to a few weeks after the herald patch. Rarely, smaller spots may also appear on your arms, legs or face. The rash may itch. Color. The rash of pityriasis rosea often is scaly and pink, but if you have darker skin, it may be gray, dark brown or even black. Other signs and symptoms. About half the people who develop pityriasis rosea have signs or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection — such as a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough or congestion — just before the herald patch appears.

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Causes
By Mayo Clinic staff
The exact cause of pityriasis rosea is unclear, although the cause may be a viral infection, such as certain strains of the human herpes virus (HHV6 or HHV7). It's not believed to be contagious.

Tests and diagnosis
By Mayo Clinic staff
If your doctor suspects you have pityriasis rosea, he or she will do a physical exam, inspecting the spots that have appeared on your skin. Often, this exam is all it takes to diagnose pityriasis rosea. In its early stage, however, pityriasis rosea can look like several other skin diseases, including ringworm, eczema, psoriasis or secondary syphilis. Your doctor may order blood tests or a skin biopsy to rule out these conditions.