Christmas tree rash, officially known as “Pityriasis Rosea,” has a name that captures the distinctive pattern it forms on the body. Although it might share a name with the joyful holiday season, anyone who has experienced it knows very well that it is not a cause for celebration.
This rash is a skin condition that typically affects adolescents and young adults. It involves the appearance of a scaly, itchy rash that typically follows patterns similar to the branches of a Christmas tree, hence its colloquial name.
While the cause of this rash is not known, some researchers suggest it could be be due to a viral infection since it sometimes follows a respiratory infection and can spread among people living in the same household. However, it is not highly contagious.
The primary symptom of this condition is an itchy rash presenting in a Christmas tree-like pattern on the back. However, the rash may also appear on the abdomen, chest, arms, and legs. Typically, the rash begins with a single large pink or red “herald” patch. Then smaller daughter patches on the body follow within one to two weeks.
Christmas tree rash typically resolves in its own within 4-8 weeks without causing any long term or serious complications. However, treatments can address the symptoms. These include antihistamines, topical products, lukewarm showers, and oatmeal baths.
The human skin can be the site of many dermatological conditions, displaying a wide array of distressing signs and symptoms. Christmas tree rash, known in the medical world as “pityriasis rosea,” is a great example…