Pityriasis Rosea

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pityriasis Rosea


in humans, an acute dermatosis believed to be of a viral nature. It is observed principally in middle-aged individuals and occurs most often in spring or autumn. The disease is usually preceded by overchilling and a cold. Pityriasis rosea is characterized by the appearance on the trunk and, less frequently, on the extremities of small, yellowish pink, rounded or oval spots, measuring 1.5–2 cm across.

The numerous skin eruptions are usually preceded by the appearance of a single spot, called the herald patch, that is distinguished by its large size. An eruption protrudes over the surrounding skin. Its periphery is characterized by a bright pink ridge, and its central part is slightly depressed and covered with tiny scales that have a parched and wrinkled appearance. The surface of some eruptions is covered with fine furfuraceous desquamation. Slight itching may occur. In four to six weeks the eruptions disappear without a trace.

Pityriasis rosea is treated with sulfanilamides, antibiotics, and antipyretics when fever and malaise are present. Externally it is treated with inert powders, mash, and corticosteroids in the form of ointments. Prolonged bathing should be avoided.


Mashkilleison, L. N. Chastnaia dermatologiia. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.