Pityriasis rosea on the vulva or vagina

Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition caused by a virus, characterised by a pink rash that can appear on the body including the vulva. Pityriasis rosea is usually seen in people aged 10 to 35. The virus is not thought to be harmful, however symptoms can be uncomfortable, particularly when it affects your vagina or vulva. Pityriasis rosea does not appear to be contagious.

Symptoms of pityriasis rosea

A single circle of pink, raised skin that looks scaly and has a raised border will appear on the skin. This is called a ‘herald patch’ and these patches can be as small as a coin or as big as a fist.

How do you say pityriasis rosea?

Pih – tih – rye – eh – sus  Roe – zay – uh

What pityriasis rosea looks like

After as little as a few days to as much as two or so weeks, salmon-pink 1-2 cm circles appear in clusters on the abdomen, chest, arms, legs and back, sometimes creeping up onto the neck, but usually never on the face.

The patches on the back often look like a Christmas tree in shape (a fir tree), the distinctive shape called the Lines of Blaschko. The rash can itch a bit, and usually lasts a couple of months. Once you’ve had it, you generally become immune and can’t ever get it again, but two per cent of people get recurrences. This can happen years later.

From time to time someone may get a different type of rash that includes round bumps. These round bumps can appear more frequently in children, pregnant women and those with darker skin, and blisters may erupt.

Before the first herald patch arrives, you will probably feel like you are getting a flu – tired, headache, nausea, sore throat, loss of appetite. The rash looks very similar to eczematinea/ringworm, psoriasis, or syphilis. Some antibiotics can cause a similar rash.

Treatment of pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea goes away by itself without any treatment required, except in severe cases whereby corticosteroids may be used to reduce itching, or antivirals to shorten the duration of the attack.

Sunlight seems to help dissipate the rash, which may have something to do with not only the UV rays, but the vitamin D release triggered by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is known to be essential for the immune system.

When this rash appears around or in your vagina, you start to have a bigger problem, as it can be quite uncomfortable. Some people experience swelling and bumps and lumps in or around the vagina, a bit like mosquito bites on the labia.

The groin area may be affected by peeling and rashes. Pityriasis rosea can also affect the vagina in other ways, and this might include feelings of dryness or itching.

The virus manifests in different ways in everyone, so if you have a positive diagnosis for pityriasis rosea, and at the same time start to experience some strange or uncomfortable vaginal issues, just know that the atypical is typical with this condition. See your doctor if you are worried.

The best you can do is support your immune system and soothe your flesh as best you can. It will pass, and you can rest easy knowing it will probably never happen to you again.

What to do if you have pityriasis rosea

  • Stay cool – heat makes the rash and itching worse. This includes avoiding hot showers and baths.
  • Oat baths – run a cool or warm bath and throw in a cup of oats you have boiled for a minute (to soften),  inside a stocking. The oats have a soothing effect on the skin.
  • If your doctor has prescribed a cortisone cream, you may use that sparingly as instructed by your physician. Don’t use this on the anus or rectum in children unless instructed by your physician.
  • Avoid soap

How to support your immune system

The most important elements to supporting your immune system are:

  • Nutrients – make sure that your body has everything it needs to defend itself, with proper amounts of protein and zinc, and good quality food
  • Herbal medicine – some herbs boost the immune system directly, so speak to your local herbalist or naturopath
  • Sleep – when you sleep, your immune system reboots itself, so get lots of good quality sleep
  • Supplements – talk to your naturopath or nutritionist about areas of your diet that could use tweaking, and any supplementation you may need, for example vitamin D

There are many things in our lives that sap the immune system, which could have left you open to contracting the virus initially and/or getting worse symptoms.

If you have low immunity generally due to underlying health conditions, you may find that your symptoms are worse. If you live in a cold country and don’t get enough sunshine hours/vitamin D, live in an area with high pollution or environmental toxins, or are in contact with a lot of sick people, for example, your immunity may require boosting.

Because our immune system is invisible to us, it can be hard to tell where you’re at. The only real way that we can tell is if we are run down, stressed, anxious, or not sleeping well. These factors can hit your immune system, and over time deplete your resources to the point where you catch viruses or other infections.

The rate at which you catch infections can be a good indicator of what your immune system is up to, so do a stocktake of yourself, lifestyle, diet, stress, sleep, and chip away at targeted improvements. This will help your symptoms, as your immune system attacks the virus.



Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
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