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Pityriasis Rosea

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

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  • A self-limited skin exanthem of unknown origin primarily affecting children and young adults
  • Skin findings often begin with an isolated “herald patch,” an ovoid erythematous raised lesion seen along the trunk and extremities
  • A secondary eruption usually follows, where multiple smaller exanthems appear along the Langer lines of the trunk and proximal extremities in a symmetric “Christmas tree pattern”
  • Nearly 80% of symptoms resolve within 2 mo


  • Unknown, although there is weak evidence for a viral etiology such as herpes 6 and 7
  • Many medications have been associated with a pityriasis-like reaction:
    • Barbiturates
    • Captopril
    • Clonidine
    • Gold
    • Isotretinoin
    • Metronidazole
    • Bismuth
    • Hepatitis B vaccine
    • Gleevec
    • Interferon
  • Eczema, asthma, and underlying malignancies may be weakly associated

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Pityriasis Rosea." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307281/all/Pityriasis_Rosea.
Pityriasis Rosea. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307281/all/Pityriasis_Rosea. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Pityriasis Rosea. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307281/all/Pityriasis_Rosea
Pityriasis Rosea [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307281/all/Pityriasis_Rosea.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Pityriasis Rosea ID - 307281 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307281/all/Pityriasis_Rosea PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -