pityriasis rosea

I mentioned a while back having mistakenly brushed my teeth with a topical cream I had on hand to treat my off and on again out breaks of psoriasis.  At the time I had an unsightly scaling thing going on along the folds of my nose on both sides.  That has since cleared up, but I developed some sort of itchy rash in the last three weeks or so on my back and especially at first—it felt as if—down on the belt line.

I thought perhaps that too was a form of psoriasis, so because I couldn’t reach back there Carol applied the topical cream for me.

Then a week or so Carol developed the rash.  From that I concluded that what I had on my back wasn’t psoriasis since it is not supposed to be contagious.

Looking into the matter I have concluded that we may both have some variant of pityriasis rosea.  This several sources described as a “common skin complaint” that occurs frequently in the spring or fall.  So apparently changes in the weather have something to do with it.  Sometimes, the skin outbreak is preceded by an upper respiratory complaint, including sore throat (which, come to think of it, must be an upper respiratory complaint).

The problem with this diagnosis is that pityriasis rosea—though they don’t know the cause of it (perhaps a virus)—is not supposed to be contagious ALTHOUGH people living together in the same family have been known to develop the complaint at the same time.  I am not a scientist, but the fact that many people in a family may develop the same complaint at roughly the same time suggests to me that it is contagious.  I guess scientists must have a more exacting standard of contagion than the one I have.

This stuff is pretty itchy.  I am pretty sure I have had this itch before back in 1972.  I got these red spots in the fall all over the torso area and went to a dermatologist.  He told me I had pityriasis rosea.  He gave me treatments of UV light, some shots of some kind, and some topical cream and I gave him 300! 1972 dollars.  When the stuff finally went away, I thanked the doctor for his good work, and he said, oh he hadn’t done anything.  The stuff goes away of its own accord in a few weeks or a couple of months.

I wish he had told me that in the first place.  I would have lived with the itch since 300! 1972 dollars were hard to come by.

3 Replies to “pityriasis rosea”

  1. I am not a scientist, but the fact that many people in a family may develop the same complaint at roughly the same time suggests to me that it is contagious.
    — could it be caused by an environmental contaminant of some sort? — everyone in the household may be exposed at the same time — maybe something a cat got into out side and spread around the house, some mold or something.
    According to http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi what cost $300 in 1972 would cost $1471.58 in 2007. Yikes! That must be an itch.

  2. I am not a scientist, but the fact that many people in a family may develop the same complaint at roughly the same time suggests to me that it is contagious.
    — could it be caused by an environmental contaminant of some sort? — everyone in the household may be exposed at the same time — maybe something a cat got into out side and spread around the house, some mold or something.
    According to http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi what cost $300 in 1972 would cost $1471.58 in 2007. Yikes! That must be an itch.

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