Pink lichen

Pink lichen, also called pityriasis rosea, is a skin rash that usually starts as one large round or oval spot on the chest, abdomen or back.

It is also called a harbinger spot and its initial size can be up to 10 cm across.

The appearance of the harbinger spot is usually followed by the formation of similar but smaller lesions that descend from the middle of the body in a shape resembling drooping branches of pine trees.

Pityriasis rosea can affect any age group, but most often occurs between the ages of 10 and 35.

It usually goes away on its own after about 6 weeks. The skin rash can be itchy and treatment usually focuses on relieving the symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Pityriasis rosea usually begins with the appearance of a large, slightly raised, scaly patch on the chest, chest, or abdomen.

Before the initial rash appears, some people experience a sore throat or a high fever.

About a few days or weeks after the rash appears, you may notice small scaly spots all over your back, chest, or abdomen that resemble pine needles.

The rash can cause itching, which is sometimes very severe.

If the spots remain permanent, seek medical attention.

What are the causes?

The exact cause of pink rash is unclear, although there is some evidence that it may be caused by a viral infection, especially some strains of the herpes virus.

Pityriasis rosea is not thought to be contagious.

What are the complications?

Complications are very rare but still occur and are expressed in:

• Severe itching;
• Permanent brown spots after the rash disappears. They are usually seen in darker skin types.

However, inadequately applied therapy, frequent contact with water, increased sweating may increase the duration of the rash.

Treatment of pink lichen

In most cases, the characteristic rash of pityriasis rosea disappears on its own after about 4-6 weeks.

But if it does not subside within this period, or if the itching is too bothersome, then a variety of procedures and therapies are available to patients.


Some medications can relieve symptoms or shorten the duration of the rash.

Examples of such are:

• Corticosteroids – creams and ointments containing different types of cortisone can help relieve itching and reduce redness;

Antihistamines – anti-allergy medications such as diphenhydramine can also be helpful in reducing itching. If necessary, stronger antihistamines, which are available without a prescription, can be administered.

Antiviral medications – Medications such as acyclovir can reduce the duration of pityriasis rosea symptoms within 1-2 weeks.


Exposure to natural or artificial sunlight can help the rash fade. In some people, however, this therapy may cause permanent darkening of certain areas of the skin, even after the rash clears.

A person can relieve their own discomfort by doing the following:

• Bathe or shower with lukewarm water;
• Apply calamine lotion to the rash;
• Bactericidal solutions, including herbal ones have a positive effect;
• It is recommended that patients avoid contact with water and avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic materials.

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