Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

Isn't the weather great! Sky is blue, sun is out and gee...I've got a rash starting on my back. Did something I'm allergic to touch me? Did I get a bug bite in the park? very well could be..

It may start out with a scaly patch which looks very similar to "ringworm"*. This patch is what is called a "mother" patch or "hearld" patch. Anti-fungal cream may be applied but it will not work since this rash is not caused by a fungus.

More pink patches will appear within a week or two; sometimes hundreds of them. (egad!) They will appear on the body, arms and legs. They can appear on the neck; rarely on the face. (Thank goodness!) The patches are oval in shape and will often form the pattern of an outline of a Christmas tree on the back. (This is one of the most tell-tale signs.)

This is a conditon that you can pick up that will give you a rash that can last from several weeks to several months....but it will go away. The rash is NOT caused by a fungus or bacteria. It does seem to pop up during the spring and fall seasons. It is called..
PITYRIASIS ROSEA (pit-a-rye'-ah-sis ro'-zee-ah)

A diagnosis by a dermatologist is needed; for this rash can differ from person to person. This rash also resembles "ringworm"* and some reactions to different medications. A dermatologist may do a scraping, a biopsy and may order some blood tests.

This rash may be caused by a virus; (this has yet to be proven) but unlike other viruses this rash is NOT contagious. It can occasionally make a person feel slightly ill. Vigorous physical activity and hot baths or showers can cause the rash to temporarily worsen or reappear.

Treatment by your dermatologist may include anti-inflammatory medications external or internal for the itch, medicated lotions, or lubricants. Luke warm bathing instead of HOT bathing may be suggested, and stopping any activity that could aggravate the rash may be recommended.

Remember, PITYRIASIS ROSEA is a common disorder that usually pops up during the SPRING
and FALL! ( Maybe we should re-name this the "time change rash"? ) NAH.

* RINGWORM (this is not a "worm" that is in/or under the skin. It is a fungus that grows ON the skin and is microscopic)

Bye for now, Krkk

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