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Pityriasis Rosea in Children

What is Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis Rosea is a skin condition that is commonly found in children and young adults. It appears as one large spot on the person’s chest, abdomen or back and then spreads to the rest of the body. In most cases, the Pityriasis Rosea rash will begin at the centre of the body and then spread out. The rash looks like drooping pine tree branches. This rash normally appears during the spring and fall seasons. Given below are some of the important questions about Pityriasis Rosea in children that have been answered by the Experts.

What is the cause for Pityriasis Rosea?

The cause for Pityriasis Rosea may not be known. However, many doctors suspect an infectious cause like an unidentified virus to cause the rash.

For how long will a Pityriasis Rosea rash last?

The Pityriasis Rosea rash may last for a period of 2-12 weeks.

Will a Pityriasis Rosea rash be accompanied by fever in children?

A Pityriasis Rosea rash may not be accompanied by fever.

What does Pityriasis Rosea rash look like on a child?

The Pityriasis Rosea rash normally begins with a large, slightly raised scaly patch. This patch is called the herald patch. A few days or weeks after the herald patch appears, smaller and fine scaly patches may appear on the person’s back, chest or abdomen. These small patches will look like small pine trees. Smaller patches may appear on the arms, legs or face in very rare cases. In most cases, the rash will look scaly and pink. However, if the patient has dark skin, it may also appear to be gray, dark brown or black. Most of the children who get the Pityriasis Rosea rash will have an upper respiratory infection like a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough or congestion before the herald patch appears.

How can Pityriasis Rosea be treated in children?

Most of the treatment given for Pityriasis Rosea focuses on controlling the itching caused by the rash. Antiviral drugs like Acyclovir and Famciclovir and the antibiotic Erythromycin can help to reduce the duration of the rash. Besides this, it may also be treated using Emollients if there is scaling of the skin, antihistaminics like Atarax or topical steroids like 5% hydrocortisone if there is itching.

If a child has rashes that look like trees located on their chest, arms and stomach and was treated for ringworm, however this treatment did not help, what could be the cause of these rashes?

The tree shaped rashes could be caused due to Pityriasis Rosea which is a benign, self limited rash. The exact cause of this rash is not known. It could be caused due to a viral illness. This rash can come back after it is treated. In most situations, it may not require any kind of treatment and may go away on its own. It may also not have any long term consequences on the patient’s health. The child’s pediatrician may refer the child to a dermatologist if the rash is severe and requires treatment.

Pityriasis Rosea is just like most other rashes that a child may get. However, it is not as dangerous as the other rashes and may not require any kind of treatment. The rash may resolve itself over a period of time. However, most parents and caretakers can panic when they see this rash on the children and may not know what to do. This lack of knowledge can lead to many questions among the parents and caretakers. You may ask an Expert if you have any doubts or questions about the Pityriasis Rosea in children.

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