Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition commonly known as Christmas tree rash due to the distribution of the rash on the skin. The rash often appears as small, red, oval-shaped patches throughout the skin and can affect those of all ages. However, it is most commonly found in those between the ages of 10 and 35. 

Stages of Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea has some very distinctive features. One of its most distinctive is that it can appear in stages. The first stage will cause a single, large “mother” patch to appear. This patch will typically be found on the chest, back, or abdomen. The single patch will remain on its own for a few days or up to several weeks.

The second stage will include the formation of “daughter” patches. These patches will be smaller but will form around the initial patch and spread. The patches can be found throughout the body, other than the face, soles of the feet, scalp, and palms. The patches can begin to take the shape of a pine tree, hence the name “Christmas tree rash.”

While not everyone will develop the “daughter” patches, but it is quite common. In a small fraction of cases, an initial patch may not be found but is quite rare.


Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea

Beyond the skin rash, there are some other symptoms that can be associated with pityriasis rosea. This includes itching, fever, sore throat, headache, and fatigue. The rash is not contagious, so you do not need to be concerned about affecting those around you.

Pityriasis Rosea Treatments

If you are unsure if you have pityriasis rosea, Skin Dermatology can help. Our board-certified dermatologist Dr. Alissa Lamoureux can examine the area and help guide you through a treatment plan. While the rash may heal on its own, Dr. Lamoureux can offer remedies and help aid in recovery.

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Diagnosis for Your Skin Condition at Skin Dermatology

Skin Dermatology is a full-service dermatology practice created by Dr. Alissa Lamoureux. Dr. Lamoureux opened Skin Dermatology in her hometown of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. The practice was created to help provide patients with premier dermatology services in a space that felt more like a resort than a typical doctor’s office. If you are concerned about a skin rash or are interested in pityriasis rosea treatment, contact us.


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