Since the internet saved me from a tremendous amount of angst regarding this crazy skin virus, I wanted to give back to the community and tell my story. In the many articles I read, most of them gave the symptoms… time passes…. then it goes away. So I want to add more detail, which I think will help ease more minds.
I see this is a site geared towards the ladies, but Pityriasis Rosea is not gender specific. It knows no boundaries :-) But I think this has the most readership for the virus today, and I want to get my story out to the most readers.
First the Good News: It’s utterly harmless; It does go away; It (mostly) effects unexposed areas of your skin; Nothing permanent; No need to go to a doctor; No need to take risky medications that upset your body’s balance. It’s not contagious.
Now the Bad News: It (seemingly) takes forever to go away; It is unsightly when naked; There is no known cure.
More detail: I’m a 52 year old white male from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. I’m very blond and pale, and I’m naturally susceptible to skin conditions. In this case, I didn’t fit the prototype, and was probably just another random victim. My story is like many others you have read. It started in early September (and it’s still very hot that time of year) with what looked like a welt on my stomach. I had no idea what it was. It didn’t itch or hurt nor did it have anything in it. So I just ignored it. A week later it’s still there in its dormant state. Did some research, and figured it was ringworm. That’s what it looks like. But it didn’t itch. I shrugged my shoulders and figured it would go away. By the 3rd week I had other lesions pop up randomly on my back, thighs, and waist. Now I’m very worried.
More research: Yep - Pityriasis Rosea. Exact symptoms. I run everyday, and I’m in very fit condition. I was not stressed nor did I have even an inkling of a virus prior, during, or after the event. The original stomach lesion was the Herald Patch. What a relief to know it is a harmless situation. All the same, it’s very troublesome because it just never seems to go away. In the back of my mind I was afraid it might be something else. But again, at least in my case, it never itched or hurt. It just didn’t look good. But it was all in hidden areas, so I more or less kept ignoring it. I counted 17 lesions at that point. Seemed relatively mild compared to what I was reading, especially in regards to the “Pine Tree” effect I was reading about. But I got more. A lot more. I stopped counting by week 4. Again, it was about 95% in unexposed areas, with a little bit exposed in my knee area. As mentioned, we live in Texas, so it’s still shorts and short sleeve shirts here in Sep/Oct.
By week 5, it was still getting worse. More and more were popping up everywhere. It’s apparent to me that Pityriasis Rosea likes fleshy skin. I could see this condition being far worse for females than (typical) males. I’m a hairy dude, so it hit me hardest on my waist, upper thighs, butt, both sides of my torso, and lower back. All the fleshy spots. And while it did hit the hairy spots occasionally (including the Herald Patch actually), it was apparent it struggled to take hold there. I had no signs of it ever on my upper back and chest for example.
Now an interesting observation: My wife and I had a personal trip planned to Colorado in October. This was week 5 to 6 of the event. Of course it’s colder there and I wore jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Sure enough, here comes more spots on the back of my calves and the back of my forearm: Both areas that are fleshy and now unexposed. So there it is: Pityriasis Rosea is definitely a condition that attacks unexposed areas. So there’s probably some truth to those that claim the sun can assist here.
It was week 6 that was the worst. Now the estimate for when Pityriasis Rosea goes away is 6 to 8 weeks, so I’m definitely getting worried again. And sure enough, going into week 7, it stopped spreading. That’s your clue that it is going away. One thing you’ll notice with Pityriasis Rosea is that it always seems to be healing. That’s because it begins scaling right away. That’s a typical healing component with most skin conditions. But with Pityriasis Rosea, that’s just part of the virus itself. But once it stops spreading, you’ll also notice it begins to fade. The light pink just becomes dull and eventually invisible. Now you know it’s coming to a close. So be prepared, it takes a looooong time for this to go away. Two months is longer than you think when you track something every day. It’s not like you’re going to wake up one day and it will be gone. I’m writing this as Week 7 closes down. Nothing new in over 10 days. Most of the smaller ones have faded completely or are close to it. The larger ones are still fading but it’s obvious it’s run its course. The Herald Patch will likely be the last to go away. If my condition changes for the worse again, I’ll be sure to update this post. But otherwise, I’m confident I survived without any remnants.
The other primary reason I’m chiming in here is the exercise question. As mentioned above, I run everyday. So I do understand what the gym bunnys’ concerns are. There is no question that exercise and a hot shower irritate the condition - visually. But it’s strictly temporary in my opinion. This is based on my own observations. I felt the health benefits of exercise (including strengthening the immune system) far outweighed the two hour irritation (exercise/cool down/shower). What I noticed is the light pink dots become redder after a good workout and shower. And one hour after that, it’s back in the exact same state as before the exercise started. I did take one day off just to see if it had any effect. Nothing. And I took two days off when I had to travel from Colorado (see above) to Detroit for a business meeting. And as noted, it only got worse. Would it had healed faster had I become a couch potato for 6 weeks? I seriously doubt it. I would have been in far worse health as well. I’m here to say I ran almost everyday throughout and it went away in the normal amount of time.
I hope this helps others, just as you all helped me.