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What do I need to know about caring for someone with pityriasis rosea?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

If you are caring for someone with pityriasis rosea, you’ll need to pay attention to the itching and to keep him or her comfortable. Keep fingernails short and clean, apply anti-itch creams or give a non-sedating antihistamine pill and use moisturizing lotion to soften the scaly rash. Also, do your best to keep track of how large the rash is and how long it’s lasted. Take pictures with a ruler in them. If it lasts more than three months and continues to spread, call the doctor ASAP.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Because the symptoms of pityriasis rosea are typically mild and include a rash with potential itching, the focus of care should be on easing the discomfort of itching.


It is important to know that pityriasis rosea is not a contagious rash. The itching that accompanies it can be severe, so anti-itch measures like calamine lotion or zinc oxide are helpful. Sunlight, including artificial sunlight, is also known to help. The disease will resolve by itself with no treatment in one to three months, with no harmful lasting effects.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.