Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis Rosea is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • An idiopathic, self-limited skin eruption characterized by widespread papulosquamous lesions
  • System(s) affected: skin/exocrine

Pediatric Considerations
Face and distal extremities are more often involved in children, and lesions may be more papular.

Epidemiology

  • Predominant age: 10 to 35 years but occurs in all age groups
  • Predominant sex: male = female
    • Some studies have shown a slight female preponderance.
  • No racial predominance

Incidence
Relatively common, but exact frequency is unknown; one study noted 170 out of 100,000 yearly incidence (1).

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • Unknown; may be a viral agent or an autoimmune disorder. Several studies have implicated the human herpesviruses (HHV), most commonly HHV-7, but other research has not confirmed this association. It is unlikely that HHV-8 is a causative agent. Case reports have also suggested an association with novel influenza A (H1N1) infection.
  • A similar rash has been reported with several drugs including gold injections, captopril, interferon, omeprazole, and bismuth.

Genetics
<5% of those affected give a positive family history.

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