Gilbert’s Pityriasis rosea

Gilbert’s Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition which resolves in about 6–12 weeks. It is characterized by a single large circular red “herald patch” followed by similar, but smaller, oval red patches usually found on the chest, abdomen, or back.

Who most often develops it?

Pityriasis rosea most often appears in adolescents and young adults. It can also occur in men and women of all ages.

What are its symptoms?

Apart from skin lesions, most patients have no other symptoms, but sometimes they can appear after a mild infection of the upper respiratory tract. The initial herald patch appears 1 to 20 days before the rest of the lesions. It presents as clearly defined, oval, erythematous lesion, about 2 to 5 cm in diameter, covered with scales. Usually two weeks later, several smaller lesions of similar characteristics appear, with symmetrical arrangement, in the form of Christmas tree branches, on the trunk, less often they appear on the upper arms, very rarely, i.e. only in atypical forms they appear on the face and head, and never appear on palms and soles. Itching may be present.

Why does it develop?

The cause of this condition is still unknown. It is associated with the activation of herpes viruses 6 and 7, which primarily cause rashes in young children, although the viral aetiology has not been confirmed. Patients often report that the condition was preceded by wearing new clothes or clothes that have not been used for a long time.

How is it treated and how long can it last?

Pityriasis rosea is a condition that resolves spontaneously, so in milder forms, only emollient creams are recommended. If the itching is pronounced, antihistamines per os and corticosteroid creams are recommended. UV rays also have a positive effect on this condition. It is also important to note that irritating soaps, hot water, or rough towels should be avoided. Brown discoloration can last for several months in dark-skinned people, and after that period it resolves completely. Recurrence of pityriasis rosea is uncommon (1 to 3 %), but other viral infections can trigger it, many years later.
Svetlana Đurišić specijalista dermatovenerologije

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