Natural Remedies for Pityriasis Rosea

| Modified on Feb 03, 2023

Pityriasis rosea is a common skin rash experienced by young adults, typically occurring in the spring or fall. The cause of this condition is believed to be a virus, and it is not contagious. It typically resolves on its own within 3-12 weeks and does not recur.

Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea

The first sign of pityriasis rosea is a large, rash-like patch known as a "herald patch." A few days later, additional rashes may appear on the arms, legs, chest, and back. These rashes are usually pinkish and oval-shaped and may be scaly and itchy. They often have a "Christmas tree" pattern along the skin lines. A visual diagnosis is typically sufficient, but testing may be performed if another issue is suspected.

Medical Treatment for Pityriasis Rosea

Severe cases of pityriasis rosea in adults are treated with isotretinoin (Accutane) and methotrexate (Trexall). Mild cases can be treated with antihistamines, hydrocortisone creams, and gentle bathing. Exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet lights may help to resolve the rash more quickly, although it is important to avoid sunburn. Pityriasis rubra pilaris is a similar but rare condition that recurs periodically for years and is much more severe.

Natural Treatments for Pityriasis Rosea

Below is a list of popular natural remedies for PR:

  • Tanning is followed by bathing with an anti-dandruff shampoo in a warm shower.
  • Calamine or menthol lotions to relieve itching.
  • An oatmeal bath or using an oatmeal sponge to apply to affected areas (by boiling one cup of oatmeal wrapped in a cloth, letting it cool, and sponging it on the skin).
  • The homeopathic remedy of Aconitum napellus 200C.
  • Using a cold compress on itchy spots.
  • Wearing only cotton or silk clothing, as wool and acrylic fibers may exacerbate the rash.
  • Using only gentle, natural soap and avoiding deodorant soaps.
  • Aloe vera gel is applied to the affected area to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
  • Tea tree oil is mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil and applied topically to the rashes.
  • Vitamin D supplementation, as low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of skin rashes.
  • Zinc supplements have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help treat skin rashes.
  • Epsom salt baths reduce itching and soothe the skin.
  • Turmeric paste is applied to the rashes, as turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Please note that results may vary from person to person.

Continue reading below to learn which remedies worked the best for Earth Clinic readers and let us know what you tried!

Activated Charcoal and Zinc Oxide Cream

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Debbie (London) on 02/21/2018

I at first noticed a small round red mark on my chest which gradulally grew bigger, then spread. I've been working for 5 months on a horrible job with long hours so I wrongly, decided it must be ringworm as my immune system was probably not great. I decided to use ACV, Oil Leaf tincture, (which I might add sprayed on, relieves the awful itching) and Garlic cream. The ACV made it worse, the Oil Leaf tincture, relieved the itching but didnt seem to improve it and the Garlic Cream, just smelt very stong.

A week on, I realised I'd misdiagnosed it and I had in fact got pityriasis rosea, reading symptoms and looking at photos I realised it was that. I read all the advice on Earth Clinic, but not having any of the things recommended to hand, I decided to mix activated charcoal with some powdered tumeric and make a wet poltice which I put inbetween a muslin cloth and lay it across my chest and wore with an old T shirt. I went to bed with it on and amazingly, I had no itching at night and the next morning, on taking it off, the area looked so much better, less red and inflamed and no itching!

I then covered the area in zinc oxide cream (nappy rash cream) which I had read someone had used. It itched a little just after putting it on but I've now just realised I've had my first itch free day! I'm going to continue using these two things and I'm really hopeful it will get rid of it very soon. I thought I'd share this as both of these things are good at promoting healing.

Replied by Debbie

I'm just posting an update on using the Activated Charcoal Poltice and Zinc Oxide Cream (Nappy Rash Cream) on my chest. I have never experienced itching like it but from putting the Activated Charcoal mixed into a paste with water between a muslin cloth on my chest overnight, I put an old T shirt over the top to keep it in place. In the morning I then put the zinc oxide cream on for the day. After a week it's gone completely! I'm so happy and just to let anyone know whose suffering with this awful rash, this works so well and quickly.

General Feedback

Posted by Megan (Wichita, Kansas) on 03/04/2010

Pityriasis Rosacea: I would really love some feedback on this viral infection. Thank you!

Replied by Tiana
(St. Louis, Mo)

I totally hate these things. It makes you look like you have a seriously fatal disease, however I had to get my pitryasis treated through a doctor. I diagnosed myself. When you go, request a KOH test, its a test in which they scrape the scaley skin to test it to see what it is. I diagnosed myself like I said. I thought it was a ringworm, but it stayed for 8 mos. and its coming back now. 8 mos and I lost 60lbs from this whole situation. Talk about being depressed...

Replied by Jamayorga
(Preston, Maryland, Usa)

I found out I had pityriasis rosea a week ago. I've had the herald patch since mid-March. I thought for several weeks that it was ringworm and was treating it with antifungal meds with no results. I started treating it as if it was psoriasis and started washing with selenium sulfide shampoo 3x a day on the affected area and using medicated gold bond powder. After a week my symptoms were much better. My dr diagnosed me with pityriais rosea and said to cut back to once a day and my rash started all over again. Going back to 3x again til it's gone. Hope this is helpful to someone else...

Replied by Ben

Diagnosed this morning with pityriasis rosea. Last night I had terrible stomach pain, I thought it was appendicitis. However that could be related to the ulcers I've had the last couple years.

Ask your mother if she breastfeeding you as a child, this is likely the cause for parasitic and gastrointestinal problems. Your gut flora is established in the first year of life. Unfortunately my mothers actually left me early on so I was forced weaned with hardly any breastfeeding. This also can affect your brain chemistry premanently. My son on the other hand doesn't even get runny noses and he's been breastfeeding for almost two years now. Breastfeeding is the key.

I've been slowly learning about how to change gut flora and the best bet seems to be Kimchi. Make it yourself, when we were in Korea for a few days this year, all my problems disappeared. I have to figure out how to make that stuff. It helps me to stay away from animal products too and bread. Take it for what it's worth, I hope this helps someone.

Indigo, Xylitol, Pine Bark

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Haro (Texas) on 11/09/2020

I first learned about pityriasis rosea 14 years ago, soon after my daughter was born. I saw the "herald patch" on my thigh and did a little online searching to find more information. After reading, I expected the red spots to disappear, just like the herald patch had, after the virus had run its course, but they never did. They stuck around my knees and would get larger in the winter, smaller in the summer. They didn't really bother me, just a visual nuisance with a little dryness around the spots.

Upon searching for vitiligo remedies for my son (who had psoriasis as a child), I found Art Solbrig's Psoriasis and Eczema remedy on EarthClinic using xylitol, pine bark, green tea extract, and indigo ointment.

We had most of those ingredients handy already, and thought it was a cheap and harmless experiment to try. I always take the natural remedies I give my children, so I can feel any possible side effects they may experience as well. Right or wrong, that's instinctually what I feel called to do.

Well, the vitiligo hasn't changed for my son, but the pityriasis on my knees disappeared completely, an unexpected benefit! In fact, I was expecting it to start getting worse since fall is here and my legs are getting less sunshine. As a side note, I also noticed my knees popping more when working out, along with bearable hip pain that comes and goes "randomly." I wish I remembered which hip had the herald patch 14 years ago, but alas, I do not. At any rate, I'm delighted to have the red spots gone and will continue taking the xylitol, pine bark, and green tea extract. The indigo was a little tricky to find, since Art's link takes you to an out of stock item, but I found it on Amazon after a little more digging. We use the ointment made from the indigo on our skin, but I believe it's the internal ingredients that are working for me so very well.

I use one tablespoon of xylitol with about 1/16 tsp of pine bark powder (that's what I already had in the cabinet when I read Art's recommendations), and one dropper of green tea extract that I get at the grocery store (HEB in Texas) in a glass of water and us a frother to stir it all up. I'm a busy mother of teenagers, so I down the glass before my busy day starts instead of sipping on it, but sipping is probably better, especially because xylitol can cause some interesting intestinal situations, initially--start small:) The only ingredient I carefully pay attention to is the green tea extract. My heart is pretty sensitive to caffeine and green tea, historically, has given me a little trouble. Like I said, I just maintain close awareness to the green tea dosage and how I'm feeling. All is well.


Replied by Art
2089 posts

Hi Haro,

I am very happy that that combination finally alleviated the red spots and dryness for you! I am also very happy that you came back to share your successful results as that is helpful for the EC community as a whole for the longer term!



2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Bargearse (Sydney, Nsw Australia) on 06/07/2011

I had Pityriasis Rosea a few months ago and tried treating it with Aloe Vera first. That didn't work. I tried Tea Tree Oil. That didn't work. Tried Paw Paw Ointment. That didn't work. Doctor prescribed cortizone cream which I wouldn't use anyway. Nothing was working, the rash was getting worse, so as a last resort I called on the ever trustworthy L-Glutamine powder which is known to boost the immune system and voila! Within two weeks, the rash was gone.

Replied by Jim

I have pityriasis rosea all over my body for for over a month now. Interested in your comment about getting rid of it in 2 wks. with L-Glutamine powder. Do you drink it? What strength and how often or are you using it topically.

Appreciate answer soon as I look like I am a canidate for a leper colony!


Replied by Monifa

Pityriasis Rosacea

In 2020, I came to this site for assistance. We were under quarantine and I couldn't see a doctor in person. First I brought L-glutamine. After week of drinking that, I brought activated charcoal. I never ended up using it bc my rash was gone by the end of the 2nd week after watching this rash grow and cover my torso for 4 months.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Margaret (Bellevue, WA) on 03/15/2019

Pityriasis rosea:

I too finally realized what the itchy patch on my stomach was and started getting one on my back. Someone on you tube used L-lysine, it works!!!

1000 mg x2 day with my usual D and C - rash was angry and large and 4 days later faded and I can see it will heal. I wish I had known about this when I had the shingles years ago.

Replied by Julie
(Peoria, IL)

That makes sense that L-lysine would help. I was reading in a medical journal about pityriasis rosea (and it's variants), and it said that scientists believe there's a strong link to the rash and HHV-6 (a type of human herpes virus). HHV-6 is something nearly all people are infected with at birth/ in childhood, but not many people get the reactivation of the virus (in the form of the PR), though it's still a common rash. Also, even fewer people get recurrent eruptions in their lifetime.

Thanks for sharing your remedy! I have PR now and will try the Lysine.

Light Treatment

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Chels (Port Coquitlam, Bc Canada) on 03/13/2012

Light treatment helped my Pityriasis Rosea. Over a year ago I had a throat infection and started noticing spots on my torso. Within a month the spots where on my arms and spreading to my legs. The spots ended up everywhere but my face & my hands. I lived with the spots for over 3 months before I found a helpful doctor. After seeing a useless dermatologist I went to a 2nd dermatologist that was amazing and ran tests to confirm that I had Pityriasis Rosea. He prescribed light treatment, after 2 months of treatment my spots were gone. The spots came back on my arms a year later and I went back to light treatment, after 1 month I stopped going and still have small (almost unnoticable) spots on my arms. I would rather spots then the damaging effects of light treatment.

Supplements, Milk Thistle

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Naz (Karachi, Pakistan) on 12/05/2013

I've been suffering from pityriasis rosea since 2 weeks now. I'm trying to build up my immune system with Vit C, zinc, milk thistle and Vit A. I'd really like to get some help about something specific that will kill the virus so my marks can go away. Also, as my marks are fading and going darker, does this mean that it will stay that way? I feel really awkward with the brown patches everywhere! Is there a natural remedy to reduce the scarring or pigmentation?

Replied by Mike 62
(Denver, Colorado)

Naz: Make home made water kefir. Eat organic produce and grass fed animal products raw. Take the thai fish sauce that has been fermented for 2 years. Make green smoothies from organic baby leave or edible wild leaves that have not been contaminated.

Replied by Minnie
(Chickasha, Ok)

I am in week two, and figured out it wasn't eczema 2 days ago and doctor diagnosed PR. It just spread to neck and I've used aloe vera for the past 24 hours after previously trying dandruff shampoo, cortizone creme and yogurt. The aloe vera took the heat out and the redness was reduced greatly. I reapplied three times now and I think this will be the winner.