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 10/20/2022
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.