THE 5 | Q&A ABOUT PITYRIASIS ROSEA

Imagine going from flawless skin to scaly rash patches all over your upper body, that was my condition at the start of 2019. I woke up one morning and while brushing my teeth, I discovered a large spot on my chest close to my shoulder. At first I thought ‘is this eczema?, can’t be be’ or ‘is it ringworm?, how the heck did I get ringworm?’. I showered in a hurry to make my way home to show my mom as I had a sleep over in a friends house and I believed she’d from being longer on earth know what that thing that just magically appeared on my body is.

To my disappointment, my mom didn’t know what it is, so I had to deal with it. After a couple of days, from one large spot, I had several scaly sore looking patches all over my back. When my sister broke the news to me, I cried so hard because how do I even treat this thing I don’t know what it is. I know they say not to Google your symptoms but I did it and thankfully, I was able to diagnose myself correctly and this strange skin infection was something known as pityriasis rosea that affects more than 100 thousand people in Nigeria per year but somehow no one seems to know about it till it happened to them/ someone they know and that’s why I’ve decided to write this blogpost, to spread the word and answer the most frequently asked questions I get since making a tweet about having this.

HOW DID HAVING PITYRIASIS ROSEA AFFECT YOU?

Unlike most sickness, this one is VERY visible just like acne but in the case of acne, people are familiar with it so it’s less likely to scare people. In the case of pityriasis rosea, due to lack of knowledge about this and how it looks, people might get put off and even assume it’s contagious when that’s not the case. When I had this, I had just gotten a new job in luxury that required me to be on the shop floor and this really messed up my self esteem because I kept wondering ‘what will the customers think’, ‘how will they react to seeing my skin’ etc. I went from super confident to wanting to hide away till it’s gone.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO HEAL?

Mine took a whole 3 months, 12 weeks to heal and when it did, it completely disappeared. No scars or marks were left behind. I’ve spoken to a few people who have had it, at least 3 others and they all seem to have scars from it so I’m guessing it’s a 50/50 chance. You might heal completely like myself or have a few leftover scars.

HOW DID YOU COPE WITH PEOPLE’S REACTION?

Outside my close family and friends, no one knew I had it. Thankfully, I got it in December/January which is normally cold in Nigeria so I filled my wardrobe with tons of turtle necks and long sleeved dresses and blouses. This condition doesn’t affect areas other than your torso, upper arms and upper legs {thighs}, so I didn’t have to worry about it getting to my face.

WHAT TREATMENT DID USE?

Honestly after reading that it can’t be cured and will resolve on its own in 10-12weeks, I didn’t bother with medications and just focused my energy on counting down till week 12. However, on the final week, I went to the pharmacy and got some medications which I think might have helped with my complete healing or my skin is just really that bih hence why I don’t have any marks left behind. I believe if you go to any good pharmacy, they’d be able to recommend steroid creams or/ and antihistamines to you.

HOW DID YOU GET THROUGH THOSE 12 WEEKS?

After the first time I cried, I told myself that it’s just scars and that doesn’t define me. I had to learn to look at myself and not be disgusted. At some point, I even stopped wearing turtlenecks and was braced myself up to educate anyone that asks me about my skin. Most importantly, I couldn’t have gotten through this without my loved ones. They didn’t treat me differently or even make talks about my skin, one time my partner offered to help apply the ointment I got from the pharmacy and I refused asking how isn’t he disgusted to touch it but he assured me about it not even being a big deal or even looking as bad as I think in my head. So being around my loved ones at that time really helped.

No one really knows what causes pityriasis rosea although studies say a viral infection might trigger it so if you’ve got it, don’t beat yourself figuring out how you got it. Time they say heals everything and pityriasis rosea is no exemption. I hope that this post helps someone out and educates others too.

Have you ever heard / had pityriasis rosea or any similar skin condition? Do share your experience with me.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I learnt something new today, about the rash and that certain things like skin conditions can’t define us and our being.

    Like

  2. Never heard of this before… But i can’t even begin to imagine how it would affect ones self esteem. It’s really great that you had lovely people by your side who wouldn’t even tease you about it and you’ll have to think again. Good to see it has gone and this way a nice read.

    Like

  3. I have a really sensitive skin that reacts to everything and anything but I haven’t come across this before. I also understand why your self esteem was affected. Glad you’re healed now. I love that you talked about this so people know about it and know what to do. 💜💜

    Like

  4. I’m really happy you were able to get past this!
    I understand this the entire process is really tough and confusing as I dealt with pityriasis rosea when I was 16. It was really hard but I was able to see the dermatologist (which I always recommend) after many tries, and they recommended treatment that worked.
    I had scars but they cleared out after a while.

    Thank you for sharing your experience

    Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s