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Pityriasis Rosea - Whats this rash??

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12.10.2008 (10.12.2008)

Advantages:
Nothing !  !

Disadvantages:
Can take a few wks to a few months to go, depressing, itchy

Recommendable No:

42 Ciao members have rated this review on average: exceptional See ratings
exceptional by (62%):
  1. Tonster
  2. ilusvm
  3. starjen
and 23 other members
very helpful by (38%):
  1. suehome
  2. talconstruction
  3. Soho_Black
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If anyone gets odd things wrong with them its always me! I am known in my family to always get unusual things wrong with me that no-one else in my family has ever suffered from!

***MY LATEST EXPERIENCE/STORY***
It's Saturday night, I'm getting in the bath ready for my night out with the girls, we're hitting the town tonight! I notice I've got a few red spots on the front of my thighs, but put it down to shaving and using a body scrub the day before.

I also noticed I had a dry patch of skin on my chest on the left-hand side, but thought nothing of it. So anyway, I had my bath and got ready for my night out and went into town with the girls.

I didn't feel myself and I had trouble drinking anything . . After about 2 drinks I was sick and I felt really tired. Please bear in mind, I'm not sick even after about 10 drinks!! I was also quite out of breath and had to take my asthma inhaler which I haven't needed to take for over 1 year!

Anyway, I noticed the Sunday morning when I got back got my boyfriends at about 5:30am, that I also had small spots appearing my on stomach. I thought it may just be an allergy to something and thought nothing of it.

Sunday afternoon, the posts hadn't disappeared and all I managed to eat all day was a bacon sarnie . .and even that was a struggle! I had such a bad headache and felt quite sick.

I woke up Monday and found it a struggle to eat breakfast, I managed 3 spoonfuls of cereal and small salad for lunch and that's it. I also had a banging headache and felt pretty unwell.

Monday night, my rash began to itch (my friend insisted I did the tumbler test), so I did and the spots faded, so I was safe from meningitis at least! In bed my stomach was itching and I tried so hard not to scratch.

Tuesday morning I decided to make a docs appointment (couldn't get one until Wednesday), so I went to work Tuesday as normal itching every now and again. I still haven't got much of an appetite and just about manage to eat a sandwich. Tuesday night my rash has got worse!

The rash now covers my stomach and the front of my thighs, my chest and is starting to appear on my arms and I've also got patchy skin on my face.

I've got a friend birthday at the weekend and I've paid for my seat in the limousine, I feel really down, there's no way I can wear a sleeveless top, or low cut top or show the top half of my legs either!

I've suffered from Pityriasis Rosea before (about 4 years ago), and I suspected that this was the same thing again, but wanted the doctor to confirm it.

***AT THE DOCTORS***
The doctor asked when the rash came up and I Saturday, seeing as I had the rash for at least 4 days he said it definitely wasn't an allergy. I told him I had, had Pityriasis Rosea twice before and he said that I had indeed got it back again.

He told me there were 2 options, which were to leave it and let it go away on its own or I could try some tablets which may help clear it up, but the tablets have a lot of side effects. The only down-side is that, the tablets may not work at all! I decided to get the tablets anyway, but I haven't taken any of these as yet as the list of sound effects is never ending and the pharmacist explained that because I was on the contraceptive pill, I would likely suffer from bleeding and irregular periods! This I
Pictures of Everything that starts with P ...
Everything that starts with P ... Beginning of the rash
This is how the rash started.
did not want, so at the moment I am bearing with the rash, but if things start to get bad I will start taking the tablets.

The doctor also told me to drink plenty of water to keep myself hydrated as the rash is like a dry, bumpy rash. He also advised me to take vitamins and minerals and this should hopefully help as well. I'm so desperate to get rid of this as quick as possible or at least make it fade so I have been drinking plenty of water all day and have changed my diet so I get plenty of vitamins and minerals.

***DIARY - DAY 6***
Today is my friends birthday and I am unable to go. I have now got the rash on my back, stomach, full length of my arms, thighs, neck and chest. I have tried hundreds of outfits on and nothing seems to be able to cover this rash!

Whilst I was in a Luke-warm bath tonight, I just broke down in tears, I feel so ugly and my confidence has been lowered dramatically! I don't want to see my boyfriend this weekend, because I don't want him to see me like this! He'll still love me for who I am and he understands as I've had it before but this is the worst I have ever had it and I feel like I should belong to a circus, because I look so different!

***DIARY - DAY 7***
I have now had this rash for a whole week and I don't think it itches as much which I see as a good sign. I saw my boyfriend this weekend and he couldn't believe how bad the rash was. He was really shocked when he saw it. He said it looked like measles.

I spent all of the weekend covered up and paranoid about how I looked. I got undressed in the bathroom and got dressed again before my boyfriend woke up. Although I know he understands I think it looks disgusting and I don't want him to see it more than he has to!

I've been using Simple Derma lotion as the rash is very dry now and tonight it has started to itch again, this maybe due to the rash being so dry, so I keep putting lotion on it every few hours. Another Luke-warm bath for me later.

***DIARY - DAY 9***
I went to work today, covered the patchy-ness on my face as much as I could with make-up. I didn't think it was too bad today, I'm definitely itching less than I was, but I've looked at my rash tonight and it has now spread on the back's of my thigh's and there's a few spots on my calves as well. I'm starting to get really angry and even more depressed. I've had it 1 week already, surely its going to start to fade/disappear soon!?

I kept waking up every 2 hours last night in bed because of the itching. It feels quite sore and its very dry today so I've been using Simple Derma lotion on it to help with the dry-ness. I read that the dry skin can make the rash itch.

***RETURNING TO THE DOCTORS***
I have no had this rash for over 1 week and I can't go on with the sleepless nights and the itching. I had another doc's appointment today and he prescribed me steroid tablets. He said he could give me a cream but because the rash is so bad I'd need to bathe in it to get results so he said the tablets were a better option. I also got prescribed some antihistamine as well. Details of what I got prescribed are below:

Prednisolone - These come from a group of medicines called corticosteroids (they should not be confused with anabolic steroids misused by some bodybuilders and athletes.) They are used to treat severe asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and severe skin conditions. These work by reducing the inflammation of the body.

Cetirizine Hydrochloride - This comes from the Antihistamines group and is used to treat redness, swelling and itching of the skin, hay-fever, red and watering eyes and runny blocked up noses.

***FINISHING THE COURSE OF MEDICINE***
Tomorrow is the last day of taking my steroids and anti-histamine. I feel relieved, the itching isn't as bad anymore and the rash definitely isn't as red as it was. I think the rash has now stopped/calmed down, it's just very dry and I have to put moisturiser on it about 3-4 times a day. This is also helping a great deal with the itching. Although the marks from the rash may take another 2-6 weeks to go I am relieved that it's finally disappearing and I have some control over it.

***WHAT IS PITYRIASIS ROSEA?***
It is a common human skin disease which appears as numerous patches of pink or oval rash, mainly on the torso. The condition appears non-contagious.

It can effect males or females at any age. Symptoms are not though to re-occur at all, though the fact that a viral agent is likely involved means that radically different symptoms might be produced by the same agent later in life, and the link could go entirely un-noticed.

(I have suffered from this 3 times now!)

***SYMPTOMS***
* Large patches of pink/red, flaky, oval shaped rash on the torso.
* Single red "herald" patch can occur 1 - 20 days before smaller, more numerous patches of rash. The "herald" patch may appear in a hidden place such as the armpit and may not be noticed immediately.
* Can Cause loss of breath
* More numerous oval patches generally spread widely across the chest first, following the rib line. Small circular patches may appear on the back and neck several days later. It is unusual for any of the rash to appear on the face, but they may appear on the cheeks or at the hairline.
* If loss of breath occurs, don't do a lot of physical activity.
* About one if four people may suffer from mild to severe itching. This worsens if the rash is scratched, but the itching tends to fade as the rash develops and does not normally last throughout the entire course of the disease.
* This rash may also be accompanied by a low grade headache, fatigue, fever and nausea.

***TREATMENT***
No treatment is usually required (trust me, it really is!!). In most cases, the condition only lasts a few weeks, but in some cases it can last longer (up to six months).

No scarring has been found to be associated with the rash, but itching and scratching should be avoided. Soaps can irritate the rash even more, but any generic moisturiser can help to manage over dryness.

In cases of severe itching topical, or oral steroids may be prescribed which can help provide relief from itching and improve the appearance of the rash, but they can cause the new skin that forms, to take longer to match the surrounding skin colour.

***MY ADVICE/TIPS***
* Have Luke-warm baths, as I find hot baths/showers can irritate and bring out the rash even more.
* Don't scratch the rash, although I know its really hard not to scratch, this can make the rash even more worse and sore as well.
* Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised
* Do buy creams such as Antihistamine creams to help relieve the itching and Calamine lotion can also help to cool and sooth the rash.
* I put some moisturiser in the fridge and put it on the rash before I go to bed . . It may be really cold but it should give you some relief for a while.
* You can try to cover this up with make up but I find this only makes it look worse, it dries the skin out even more and the make up tends to go patchy! I couldn't even get my legs covered up with fake tan, as this didn't even cover the spotty rash either!
* Don't use harsh soaps, I'm literally washing with just water as some soaps can irritate the rash even more.***PRODUCTS/MEDICINES I TRIED***
I tried so many creams/lotions to stop the itching and the dryness, some of the are listed below. (I was so desperate, I was going to try anything and everything!!)
  • Calamine Lotion - This did help to soothe the rash but didn't really relieve the itching for long, and I had to keep re-applying it hourly, but for 79p is a cheap option.
  • Simple Derma Intensive Relief - This is especially for dry, sensitive skin prone to eczema & dermatitis. I put this on before I went to bed, to try to help the dryness. I haven't noticed any results yet and I woke myself up in the night scratching my rash, this was about £4.50 for a 400ml bottle so wasn't cheap! I used this 4-5 times a day!
  • Eurax lotion - This is meant to stop itching fast and the pharmacist recommended putting it in the fridge which will be even more soothing. This definitely helped out with the itching and I definitely haven't been scratching as much as I was and because I put it in the fridge it feels nice and soothing against my skin. This cost me over £5.00 for 100ml bottle but it was so worth it!

***OVERALL WORD***
I have had this 3 times now, I'm a 23 year old girl and I love going out clubbing but when this rash appears I go into hiding, because it just seems to take over my body. I can't show my legs, arms, chest or stomach which limits what I can and can't wear. Also if it gets hot in the bar or club where I am this can also irritate the rash as well.This has actually got me really down and I do find it really depressing, so depressing I seem to be snapping at my boyfriend and at my friends who say things to try and help me I end up shouting at them! I've never been a confident person (as you may have read in a review I wrote a while back), and now I seem to have the confidence back, I get this rash!

Doctors don't see it as a high priority case and they can't really help and this does nothing but frustrates me. I know its not their fault, but when you have had this skin rash 3 times like I have it really gets you down.

The last time I had this rash it lasted at least 3-4 weeks and then I had patchy skin and discoloration in my skin for quite a while afterwards.

I hope your not as unlucky as me to ever get this, especially 3 times, but if you do ever suffer from it, I understand your frustration and if you need someone to chat to, I'm more than happy to chat or to just listen.

****9 WEEKS LATER***
Its been 9 weeks since I had this rash, and although it has calmed down a lot, I am still left with discoloured patches on my arms and calves. The rash is still on my thighs but is no-where near as bad. My stomach is still bad, but it has faded a lot and is no longer itchy at all!

I've got 4 weeks until my friends birthday and Im hoping and praying that my rash will have totally dissapeared by then . . wish me luck!!

(Review also on dooyoo)
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Comments about this review »

Tonster 11.01.2009 20:30

Great read and very informative, hope your ok, seems like you are a strong person dealing with your condition. Hope its cleared up now :-) x

ilusvm 15.12.2008 22:37

brilliant review but poor you!!! that looks horrible!!! Hope you dont get it again! Em x

starjen 10.12.2008 22:23

Excellent review, hope it all clears up soon x

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This review of Everything that starts with P ... has been rated:

"exceptional" by (62%):

  1. Tonster
  2. ilusvm
  3. starjen

and 23 other members

"very helpful" by (38%):

  1. suehome
  2. talconstruction
  3. Soho_Black

and 13 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.