What Is Pityriasis and Who Gets It?
Pityriasis rosea causes a harmless pink or reddish rash that usually lasts six to eight weeks before fading. It can be itchy, but usually goes away without treatment. It’s not contagious, but can occur following a viral illness. You may notice an oval patch on your skin, often called a “mother patch.” This can vary in color to pink/salmon or gray to dark brown. These typically appear on the chest and back, and can look scaly (can be mistaken for ringworm or a fungal infection).
Within a week of this first patch, a larger rash often called “daughter patches” can appear. There are more common on the trunk, legs and arms. Your skin may itch, especially if it becomes warm from working out, taking a hot shower, etc. Pityriasis rosea can also develop in an inverse pattern affecting the skin folds (like the armpits and groin), face and neck. This is more common in children and those with darker skin.
People of all ages and races can get pityriasis rosea, but young people are at higher risk. This disease usually develops in those age 10 to 35. It’s also more likely to occur during pregnancy. If a women does develop pityriasis rosea during pregnancy, she should contact her obstetrician. In some cases, this can indicate a higher risk of premature pregnancy, neonatal hypotonia or even miscarriage. Discuss any questions with an obstetrician.