Well…sorry to get your hopes up but…there is no “cure for Pityriasis Rosea”…yet. Pityriasis Rosea is self-limiting (tends to end on its own without treatment). However, the length of time one suffers with this horrible rash is very subjective. Most cases clear up on their own in about 6-12 weeks, but some people have this horrible rash for 6+ months. The longest I’ve heard is of a woman that has had it for over two years and counting…poor thing.
As the saying goes…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Eat right, exercise, get good sleep and do as much as you can to alleviate stress in your life. Common sense, right? But…you’re likely here because you’ve already gotten Pityriasis Rosea and are just looking for some solutions to mitigate the horrendous rash. OK…I’ll keep on track.
The worst part about PR, other than the itching, is the embarrassment…especially if it has spread to visible areas like the face, arms and legs (which it often does). If you’re tired of looking like a freak at the pool or getting weird stares from strangers…there are some solutions to speed up the recovery process. But, honestly…they’re subjective. Things work for some that do not work for others…you’re simply going to have to experiment. Here are a list of things worthy of trying, however. This is based on feedback from others that have had PR at one point, but you’ll have to experiment and see what works best for you.
Pityriasis Rosea Treatments, Medicine, Remedies and Supplements:
1.) Rx – While the suspected bacteria that causes the rash has not been pinpointed, the antibiotic erythromycin has been shown to lessen the duration and severity of Pityriasis Rosea. Other experts have suspected a common virus (HHV6 & HHV7) as the cause and Valtrex, an antiviral medication, has been shown to help in some cases. It really is hard to say whether these meds are fully effective or simply coincidental with the time-frame that the rash clears up on its own (self limiting). There simply needs to be more clinical and efficacy trials done on these meds for treating Pityriasis Rosea at various stages of the rash. Until then…you can mention these meds to your dermatologist and try to get a prescription. If you find them effective…please come back here and share your experience, with some time-frames, to help others.
On the other hand…you’ll find that a lot of doctors are very quick to prescribe a shot or oral steroid like Prednisone when they can’t figure out what your funky rash (Pityriasis Rosea) is. This is about the worst thing they can do and just plain “bad medicine” if you ask me. I’m not a doctor, so take this with a grain of salt if you’d like, but I get an email about once a week from a PR sufferer who was prescribed a steroid shot or pill like Prednisone…the outcome is always the same.
“My doc prescribed Prednisone. It seemed to be working as the itching lessened and the redness started to go away…BUT THEN it came back even worse and spread all over my body and now I’m absolutely miserable!”
I hear this ALL the time, I’m telling you. Just read through some of the comments on this site if you don’t believe me.
An excerpt from drugs.com: “Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had.”
Pityriasis Rosea is most likely caused by a viral/bacterial infection (the verdict is still out), so why in the world a good doc would prescribe someone with PR a strong steroid, that weakens their immune system, is beyond me. Unfortunately they’re usually prescribing it because they don’t know what they’re looking at. It’s sad what many medical practitioners have become…legal drug dealers, herding us through like cattle, treating our symptoms and ignoring the real causes of sickness. If you think you have PR and your doc “doesn’t know”, I’d strongly urge you to NOT take any type of strong steroid [even if they prescribe it] and then find a new doc. Mild, topical steroid creams should be fine, although, I do think there are better/healthier alternatives…keep reading below.
2.) UV Rays – Good o’l sunshine will help diminish the rash, especially in the early stages. Lay out a bit or take a trip to the tanning bed, but DO NOT burn yourself as that is sure to exacerbate the itching and make matters worse. A quick 20-30 minutes in natural sunlight or about 5-7 minutes (no more than 10 minutes) in a tanning bed will certainly help…just don’t overdue it. The quickest recovery I’ve heard of was a girl that hit the tanning bed 3-4 days a week for 10 minute intervals each time…she knocked out her pityriasis rosea in 4 weeks from the time she noticed her herald patch. Now, everyone has different skin sensitivities, so this obviously won’t work for everyone. Just get as much sunshine (real or fake) as you can without burning or exacerbating the itch/rash. Listen to your body…don’t overdo it.
3.) Vitamin-D3 – This supplement has many benefits and should be taken regardless of whether you have Pityriasis Rosea or not. It’s an immune system regulator and will help bolster your body’s ability to fight off this viral rash. I get all of my supplements through VitaCost …they have the best selection and their prices can’t be beat. Click HERE for a $10 discount on your first purchase of supplements. After you get your VitaCost $10 discount code, just search for Vitamin-D3 on their site. You want the 5000 IU bottle that can be found by clicking the link at the beginning of this paragraph. Take 2 softgels (very small and easy to swallow) per day while battling your PR and continue taking one 5000 IU softgel per day after.
4.) Micellized Vitamin-A – In addition to treating deficiency syndromes, vitamin A has several potential preventive and therapeutic uses. Vitamin A is important for the immune system. It keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy. When membranes are healthy they stay moist and resistant to cell damage. The moistness inhibits bacteria and viruses from rooting in and starting infectious conditions like PR. Micellization is a chemical process that changes the molecular structure of the compound in question so the body can more easily absorb them. Studies show that only 10 -20% of pill/tablet vitamins are absorbed, but about 98 percent of liquid/liqui-gel vitamins taken are absorbed. So it is believed that absorption is even greater with micellized liquid vitamins. Click HERE to get your Micellized Vitamin-A through Amazon.
5.) Vitamin-E – This supplement is excellent for repairing and maintaining healthy skin. I recommend Jason’s straight Vitamin-E oil through Vitacost. Mix several drops with Coconut oil (also very beneficial for the skin) or a fragrance-free cream of your choice and rub it over the affected areas generously. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter w/Vitamin E is also great for the skin and really helps in the later stages of PR when the rash starts to get dry, scaly and flake. It smells delicious too! Again…click HERE for a $10 discount coupon from VitaCost before ordering.
6.) Astaxanthin – This is nature’s strongest antioxidant and is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients in the world. Its benefits are many and should be added to your daily diet. It’s fantastic for the skin (it actually works as a natural sunblock by deepening you skin tone/pigment) and excellent for boosting your immune system. Again…click HERE for a $10 discount coupon from VitaCost before ordering. Click HERE for a quick video on the many health benefits of Astaxanthin.
7.) Rooibos Tea – This tea has potent antioxidant, immune-modulating and chemopreventive effects. Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos in South Africa (where it grows) include alleviating infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems. Two flavonoids found in rooibos, quercetin and luteolin, have been known to have cancer fighting qualities. I have heard that this works really well for fighting PR…one sufferer swears by its effectiveness when combined with the other vitamins/supplements. Drink 3 cups daily and apply the tea/poultice directly to the affected areas of your skin every other day. Again…click HERE for a $10 discount coupon from VitaCost before ordering…they have several flavors of Rooibos tea. I like the Numi Rooibos Chai best.
8.) Oregano Oil – Since most research points to Pityriasis Rosea entering the body as a viral bacteria, the first thing you need to do is start fighting that virus and boost your immune system. This stuff is very potent/strong, but you can get it in easy to swallow gel-caps. It’s a powerful antiviral and has many other health benefits as well. Click HERE for a $10 discount coupon from VitaCost before ordering.
FOR THE ITCH
9.) Anti-Dandruff Shampoos – Bathing with a dandruff shampoo like Nizoral, Head n’ Shoulders or Selsun Blue seems to alleviate itching for awhile. Again…not a cure but, certainly helps with the constant itch. It does tend to dry out the skin, however, so you’ll want to apply the vitamin-E mix or some type of moisturizing cream after bathing with these.
10.) Creams/Ointments – There are a plethora of creams/ointments for itching, soothing and dealing with different types of skin rashes such as Pityriasis Rosea. Common ones are Cortizone-10, Hydrocortizone, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter w/Vitamin E and good ol’ Aloe Vera. I’ve been told by a few Pityriasis Rosea sufferers that Cetraben Emollient Cream is great for relieving the itching. It’s a topical steroid usually used for Eczema and severe skin inflammation. They also make a Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive that might help as well for those of you that are covered in PR. I’ve had some people that swear by a product called SkinZinc to relieve the itching. There is also a product called DermaZinc that appears very similar and it’s a bit cheaper. One sufferer recommends Salcura Zeoderm. Again…these don’t make Pityriasis Rosea go away, they just relieve the itching for a bit. But, these creams and ointments can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and no sleep at all. Good sleep is very important for healing and maintaining a healthy immune system which is what will ultimately rid your body of Pityriasis Rosea.
11.) Tea Tree Oil – The benefits of tea tree oil are many. I’ve had a couple of sufferers now tell me that they got quite a bit of relief from the itching and are convinced using tea tree oil sped up their recovery. Tea tree oil in its natural state smells pretty strong, however, so it’s best to use a carrier oil like coconut or almond to dilute the oil when applying it to your skin. There is a great line of products called Tea Tree Therapy that use other, more pleasant smelling oils as well and don’t have the strong, overwhelming smell of tea tree oil. I recommend the Tea Tree Antiseptic Ointment at Vitacost. Don’t forget to click HERE for a $10 discount before ordering.
PITYRIASIS ROSEA E-BOOKS
12.) Banish Rosacea – This ebook claims to have a secret formula for banishing rosacea and pityriasis rosea. I didn’t try it and haven’t heard from anyone who has but, feel free to give it whirl. Just be careful…there’s a lot of “snake oil” on the net and money doesn’t grow on trees. If you do try this method…please let me know if it worked for you so we can recommend it to others suffering with PR.
13.) Pityriasis Rosea Relief – Another ebook that claims to have a secret formula for relieving pityriasis rosea. The problem with this ebook and its remedy is that it’s really hard to tell if the remedy actually works or if it’s just coincidence that a person’s PR goes away on its own around the same time the person completes the two week “routine” outlined in the book. Most people will buy a lot of crazy things when they just can’t take the itch, embarrassment and stress anymore that comes with suffering from pityriasis rosea. Most people’s symptoms are pretty bad by about week two or three, so they start researching like crazy, come across these books, follow all the steps and what do you know…low and behold…their pityriasis rosea goes away around week six or eight. Surprise surprise…it was probably going to go away on its own around the same time you finished your two-three weeks of magical herbs and potions and now you’re out $50 for a bunch of crap you didn’t even need. Who knows…the placebo affect is definitely a real phenomenon. In this author’s defense…there is some good information on healthy living and taking a comprehensive approach to battling PR. I’d really like to get feedback on this particular ebook from someone that has suffered with PR for more than 3 months AND THEN tries the remedies in the book. If that’s you…DL the ebook by clicking on the link above and give us the scoop!
14.) How to Get Rid of a Rash – This is a simple eBook that claims a remedy of Cortizone Cream, Vasaline and Saran Wrap will get rid of most any rash. I haven’t personally heard of anyone using this method to get rid of Pityriasis Rosea, but the guy that wrote it claims he used this method on both of his kids who had PR and the rash went away. I’m a bit skeptical, but it could be worth a try. Let us know if you have any success by commenting below.
THE PLACEBO EFFECT
15.) Homeopathy – For those of you that prefer a more homeopathic approach there are a few options that might help. I personally believe that most homeopathic approaches are mumbo-jumbo nonsense but, I will concede that the placebo effect is a very real and powerful thing. All of these remedies can be found at the best price on Amazon by clicking each one below.
Urtica Urens Mother Tincture-After bathing, take a bit of this and rub it over the worst affected areas.
Arsenicum Album-Recommended for those whose rash is accompanied by anxiety, restlessness, and thirst.
Natrum Muriaticum-For those whose lesions have a red appearance under thin white scales, or whose rash is made worse by warmth or exercise.
TIPS & SOME COMMON SENSE
The best approach to a speedy recovery is a comprehensive approach…this includes cleaning up your diet (if it’s poor), mitigating stress (wherever possible), getting proper rest (this is essential) and adding the supplements/remedies above to your daily routine. There is no magic pill or potion. Contracting Pityriasis Rosea is just your body telling you that you’ve probably been abusing it in some way, thus weakening your immune system and becoming vulnerable to infection. Take care of yourself…first and foremost.
Get a blood test. This is generally a good idea when your immune system is compromised. A blood test can tell you a lot about your general health and is a good way to detect more serious conditions that may cause you a lot more grief than itchy skin down the road. Make sure to have the doc include a liver, pancreas and vitamin workup with the test. The liver and pancreas are often connected to skin conditions and a general vitamin deficiency (Vitamin D3, specifically) can also be a great indicator as to why you contracted this viral monster in the first place. You can test for everything, but be sure to include these specific three. There are many places you can go for blood testing that don’t require a doctor visit. One of the largest in the US is Any Lab Test Now.
Get proper rest. This is a given but, absolutely essential for healing. Sleep is when your body heals itself from the daily wear n’ tear. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a laundry list of mental and physical health problems, including those that stem from an impaired immune system like Pityriasis Rosea. In simple terms, sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function and decrease your body’s ability to respond to infection. Some people need more than others, of course, but we all need it…listen to your body and don’t deprive it of sleep or you’ll certainly drag out your PR longer than necessary.
Avoid sweating if at all possible. Yes…hard to do, especially in the summer, but do what you can to stay cool and dry. If exercising helps relieve stress…that may outweigh the downside of getting your body heat up and sweating, but only you can decide if it’s worth exacerbating the itch. If you do heat up…try to cool down as quickly as possible. Cold or cool showers can go a long way in reducing the itch factor. If you like taking hot showers…at least end the shower by going as cold as possible for as long as you can stand it. Just remember…too much internal or external heat makes matters worse.
Don’t scratch! Again…easier said than done. PR won’t leave scars or marks when it’s finished tormenting you, but constant scratching of the affected areas can…especially if you break the skin. Use one of the anti-itch remedies above to help with the itching before you draw blood with a brillo pad.
Mitigate Stress. I’ve found that a common thread among people that have contracted PR was…STRESS! Stress has many harmful effects…one of which is the weakening of your immune system which allows your body to be susceptible to disease and infection. PR is most likely a viral infection which is easy to get when your defenses are weak. I know just having PR is very stressful, believe me, but do whatever you can to mitigate stress in every aspect of your life. It’ll be good for you, both mentally and physically.
Don’t take strong steroids (oral or injections). If you do end up going to your doctor…don’t be surprised if they don’t know what your beautiful rash is. I’ve heard numerous accounts of sufferers that went to the doctor only to be sent away with a tube of hydrocortizone or even be misdiagnosed. Some doctors will likely recommend some kind of steroid injection or pill like Prednisone. I’ve had several people email me saying that the first thing their doc did was put them on a steroid that either did nothing for the rash or made it worse. Yes, the results are subjective but, I’ve yet to hear from someone that said a steroid injection or oral pill helped them with their Pityriasis Rosea. Furthermore, the side effects of strong medical steroids are not good for your immune system. You need your immune system strong and in top notch working order to beat PR as quickly as possible. A weak immune system is likely how you contracted Pityriasis Rosea in the first place. Don’t make matters worse for yourself and save your money. The topical creams listed above that have a steroid are mild enough that they shouldn’t have long lasting negative side effects on your immune system, but getting a strong injection could be counterproductive and will weaken your immune system.
Good luck on your journey with Pityriasis Rosea…I feel your pain. Hang in there and it’ll be over before you know it…I promise. Please comment below with any remedies you may have or if you just want to share you experience with Pityriasis Rosea…awareness is powerful and very helpful to others that are battling this mysterious skin rash from HELL.