Pityriasis rosea is a skin disease that produces oval spots (papules) over the trunk. The rash is frequently preceded by a "herald patch" (pictured here) lasting 1 to 2 weeks. The rash is usually rose red to brownish red with fine scales and central clearing. Itching (pruritus) occasionally occurs. Spontaneous remission occurs in 2 to 8 weeks. It is probably caused by an infectious agent, most likely a virus.
Review Date 11/2/2014
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.