My 17 year old son showed me the strange rash that was developing on his chest and back. It was itchy and each day seemed to be getting worse and worse. The rash spread around his back and under the arms but spared his face and arms and legs. After examining the pattern, I was sure of the diagnosis...Pityriasis rosea.
This strange rash occurs in the spring and the fall and mainly strikes young adults. (I did diagnose it once in a 35 yer old woman). We think it is a virus but it doesn't seem to spread from person to person and it is usually quite isolated.
The symptoms start with a "herald patch", one larger spot that develops into a wider, pinkish, scaly rash over a week or so. The red, raised spots can last for up to 12 weeks but usually resolve by 4-8 weeks. As seen here, it is mainly on the body trunk.
There is no treatment for Pityriasis rosea except patience and antihistamines for itching.
For you wordophiles- Pityriasis comes from the Greek "bran" and refers to flaking or scaling of the skin. Rosea comes from the latin word meaning "pink" or "rose-colored". The condition was first described in 1860 by French physician Camile Gibert.