Pityriasis Rosea; Stages of the Disease

The Rash Discovery

In March of 2018, I woke up to a ring-worm like raised rash behind my knee just between my thigh and my leg. The rash was itchy, it had a black looking middle and I wondered what it was. I went to the doctor in Nigeria who told me it was ring-worm and prescribed ketoconazole creams amongst other antifungal tablets to treat the rash.

Picture showing a pityriasis rosea herald patch on the leg of a dark skinned person
The first herald patch I noticed on my leg (the rash might look different on white skin).

After a few days I found a second rash by my right under-arm, then followed single rashes all over my arms and legs that was very itchy. I got really worried as I knew that ring-worms don’t appear quickly and the severe itch was peculiar. At that same time I was preparing for my trip to UAE and having this strange skin disease, made me very anxious as I had no idea what it was.

Picture showing single rashes of pityriasis rosea on the arm of a dark skinned person.
The single rashes that later turn into herald patches

However, during my two-week trip I noticed that more raised-ringed rashes appeared all over my body, the super itch came in episodes at different times of the day. Taking a shower or walking in the sun made the itch 10X worse and the creams and drugs prescribed to me were basically useless. Confused and frustrated, I was forced to put my vacation on hold and go to the German-Saudi Hospital in Dubai. Luckily, I got a proper diagnosis.

The Diagnosis

The doctor diagnosed me with having Pityriasis Rosea, a possibly viral infection with an unknown cause. He went on to say that there was no treatment or cure and like any viral infection you only have to manage it and wait for it to heal by itself. He prescribed a few creams and lotions to ease the itch and manage the situation. However the prescribed creams and shower lotions still did not offer me any relief.

I went on to do a lot of research and I learned that the initial ring that appeared on my leg is called a herald patch and its the first sign of pityriasis rosea. After the herald patch comes smaller rashes that appear all over your body and from there, it becomes scaly, it flakes, and only then the process of healing begins.

The Stages of Pityriasis Rosea

Personally, the stages of pityriasis Rosea went thus:

1. Initial herald patch on my leg day 1

2. After 2 days, a second herald patch appeared on my arm

3. Then small single rashes appeared all over my body, arms, legs, belly, inner thighs, but not my face and neck.

4. The small rashes turned to medium- sized herald patches with a black flat top.

5. 7 days after initial herald patch, clustered rashes appeared around parts of my body that fold or are in contact with skin like inner thighs, under bra line, inner elbow.

6. During second week, the herald patches started to dry up slowly and turned black and

7. In the third week new rashes stopped appearing, The old rashes turned scaly for another week and continued to dry up, however the itch remained.

After about a month, the herald patches, clustered rashes and all rashes dried up, the dead skin fell. The itch remained for up to 3 months and only reduced in intensity as the days went by. The spots faded but still remain on my skin to this day, more than 2 years after.

Healing and Recovery

Picture showing fading Pityriasis rosea spots on the belly, after 1 month of healing and recovery

The healing process took about a month, however the recovery took more than a year. Pityriasis Rosea is especially horrible because of the itching and the rashes take a long time to completely fade.

All the drugs, creams and lotions I was prescribed did nothing to ease the itching. I did some research and I found that Aloe vera helps with skin conditions. I got aloe vera, tried it and it worked wonders. I noticed that 100% Aloe vera gels worked better than 95% or less. I also noticed that showering less (basically reducing your skins contact with water) and avoiding the sun as much as possible eased the itching episodes.

Picture showing a Fruit of the earth 100% aloe vera 680g bottle
Fruit of the earth 100% aloe vera I used for relief of pityriasis rosea itch and it was very effective.

I hope this information can help anyone who has the disease and doesn’t know what it is to find answers.

PS: The information provided on this page is based solely on my personal experiences and should not be considered as legal advice. Five foot nomad is not liable for any misrepresentation or misinterpretation of any and all posts on its website.

All images are personal to Basilia Frankel.

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