The Outbreak of Pityriasis Rosea: AKA Mystery Bumps

The day before Good Friday I noticed a small patch about 6 inches to the right of my belly button but above my pant line. I thought maybe it was a bug bite but it wasn’t itchy, so I did what most people do: “Meh, I’ll just watch it.”

By Good Friday the spot had grown bigger and was scaly in the middle. I assumed it was ringworm. I had had ringworm once before when I was little. I got it from my dog (so the doc thought). It went away with treatment and so naturally when I saw the spot I assumed that’s what it was. NBD, so I thought, I’ll use some over the counter creams until I can get to the doc on Monday.

Monday comes along and I wake up to what looked like a chicken pox explosion. In addition to the one circular spot, I had about 20 little polka dots spreading across my tummy. Completely freaked out and fearing for my animals and hubby, I called the doc.

Enter: worst thing you want a doc to say during a diagnosis ever.

“There’s nothing we can do.” Really? Nothing? Ringworm had a cure. It was gross because the majority of the people who get ringworm are sweaty, stinky, nasty wrestlers–but at least that had a cure. Nothing. With a sprinkle of “you can try UV light in small doses”.

So I Googled it. (As my doctor had done while in the exam room, to show me what it was like and reassure me I don’t have a fungus amungus.)  Pityriasis Rosea. Aka Mystery Bumps w/ a Ringworm Look-a-like.

Low and behold, Google offered as much substantial information as the doc had. However, Google offered a ton of information from first hand sufferers who had tried everything from herbal pills, to diet changes, to creams and more. The only downside–most of the creams I couldn’t use because I was trying to have a baby and they contained steroids.

Benadryl, calamine lotion, regular lotion, dove soap, cold showers and time–such a bleak prognosis.

After fearing for my skin (and my sister in laws wedding in just over two months), I ran across the web story of a guy who beat PR. Within 4 weeks of getting the itchy nightmare it, he beat it. How? The sun.

That’s right, sunlight. UV rays do for PR what UV rays do for poison ivy, oak or sumac. It dries it up.

So today marks day 4 of knowing what I have, a week from realizing it wasn’t just a random bump, nor was it ringworm–and today marks the day I go to the tanning bed so I no longer feel like a leper.

UPDATE: 12 days after discovering what I had, I was able to see it begin to disappear. I ultimately believe UV light was the cure. I went to the tanning bed every other day for 5 minutes in the medium browning ray booth. By the 1st round I could feel a difference, by the 2nd round I was able to SEE a difference. By the 3rd I stopped going. I went 3 times to the tanning bed, every other day for 5 days, and it cleared up. If you EVER think you have this, go immediately to the tanning bed. Sign up the minimum for your skin type and go regularly. A slight burn will help, but don’t overdo it. Do not burn yourself to cure yourself. It will only add to your agony.

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