Gilbert’s pityriasis rosea, a common skin disease

Gilbert’s pityriasis rosea is a common skin disease with a simple clinical diagnosis that is easily recognized by dermatologists but can be a headache for non-dermatologists.

It is a skin rash, which can sometimes be preceded by flu-like symptoms several weeks before, characterized by the appearance of a pinkish plaque with scaling on the periphery, generally located on the trunk, and the subsequent abrupt appearance of smaller plaques with the same morphology, arranged in an oval shape in the form of a “Christmas tree” on the trunk.

The skin lesions are self-limited and last approximately 1-2 months. Although the rapidity with which the lesions are generated usually alarms the patient, our mission is to reassure the patient.

The lesions are not usually itchy and are thought to be related to common viral infections (human herpes viruses 6 and 7); however, causality is not entirely clear, but the high prevalence and seasonal occurrence suggest an infectious origin.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the existence of atypical clinical presentations and the presentation of other entities with similar appearance, which should normally be evaluated by the dermatologist and on some occasions a biopsy may be necessary.

Dr. Diaz Martinez