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Pityriasis rosea or psoriasis?

By Anonymous January 13, 2010 - 6:00am
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last year exactly in this month I discovered a round patch on the lower portion of my right leg. I looked to me like ringworm or Eczema. I then applied some ringworm ointment for no good. 2-3 weeks latter pimple like patches appeared on my hand and leg. I then consulted my personal doctor who said to me that I got psoriasis and recommended to dermatologist to me (by that time I had no knowledge about psoriasis). the dermatologist gave me steroid (without telling me whether it was psoriasis or could be some other desease), which after one week of use I found all my patches are gone. but to my horror it came back 5 times more vigorously nearly after 10 days. I was so pissed off that I went to meet another dermatologist who gave me some pills and one ointment. I used that for about 10 days but did not notice any improvement. I then did a bit research using google to know more about psoriasis.. got a bit dissapointed after knowing that psoriasis has no cure and most of the medicines have very bad side effects. so I stopped taking pills and using ointment that the second dermatologist had prescribed (I dont remember the name of the medicine he had given to me, but I guess he had given me medicine for psoriais). meanwhile the affected area on my body was growing and it spreaded to my trunk and thigh during my euro trip in Augst. It was horribly itchy.

I then decided to use homeopathy (thinking that it would not have any side effect, at least). started taking medicing honestly, but did not notice any significant improvement (though it was receding a bit and again aggravating periodically). but in November the affected area started to grow like wild fire. it also affected my head (I have dandruff problem already since many years) and my eyelid (slightly though) (but my feet, palm and face have never been affected). I got very much frutrated and frightened. But a strange thing happened to me two weeks ago.

I hit my head on a door accidentally. the wound was so deep that my friend gave me some antibiotics and pain killers to me, which I used only for 3 days. not only it healed the wound on my head but aso, to my utter surprise, red rash on my body started to vanish in exponential rate. my hand, back and trunk are almost clear. it is there only on the lower portions of my legs, from where it had started (no red rash, but slightly itchy and the affected aread has turned dark colour).

At first I thought homeopathic medicine did miracle but I was not convinced. since two days I am googling. I learned that pityriasis rosea responds to antibiotics. well, some kind of psoriasis can aslo respond to anti biotics but think it is the pityriasis rosea which made one year of my life hell. I am planning to visit a new dermatologist soon to get confirmed. meanwhile any suggestion from you will be appreciated. thanks in advance :)

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Dear Anon,

Based on what you've said it does sound like it could be Pityriasis rosea. It starts off looking somewhat like a ringworm then can be confused for psoriasis or eczema. The only sure way of being diagnosed with this is either through a skin biopsy or blood work in order to prevent wrong diagnosis. Usually though pityriasis rosea will dissipate on its own within 4-8 weeks after first appearing on your skin-- one year is a long time to have this. The way I see it, either there is another underlying condition or all of the medications you were on may have exacerbated the minor skin condition.

I do highly recommend for you to see your doctor, share your findings, and see if you can get at least some blood work. If it is completely gone by now and you have no itch, then it is entirely up to you if you choose to still go back to your dermatologist or if you want to wait to see if it comes back.

Good Luck.


January 13, 2010 - 6:51am
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