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HomeAnswersDermatologyskin rashHow to differentiate rashes caused by pityriasis rosea and pityriasis versicolor?

I have small circular rashes on my back for six months. Kindly help me.

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sushrutha M.

Published At August 25, 2021
Reviewed AtJanuary 14, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have these small circlular rash-looking things on my back. I have been noticing them for five to six months. Now it seems to be more. I am attaching the pictures. Kindly help me.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I saw the pictures (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). I can see red oval to circular lesions distributed on the back. We can have two differential diagnoses here. Pityriasis rosea is a viral infection due to hypersensitivity to either upper throat or urine infection or colored food. Pityriasis versicolor, high humidity and excessive sweat will induce this. It is a mild yeast infection. Both the differential diagnosis are harmless and non-contagious. Please get back if you need further help.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you. Is there any OTC treatment for either of these that I can use? And is there any laboratory or other test for further diagnosis? Kindly guide me.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I suggest the following. Apply any brand Ketoconazole 2% lotion on affected areas twice daily, 15 minutes before bath on wet skin, then after bath dust any brand Clotrimazole powder on it. Please do it for 15 consecutive days. If you get Tacrolimus ointment 0.1%, apply it to the affected areas overnight after applying a drop of moisturizer. Use it until the patches become light brown. We can treat both the differential diagnosis at a time. We can confirm the diagnosis by doing KOH (potassium hydroxide) mount for fungal filaments. I suggest you take lemon juice twice daily and avoid hot and humid conditions. If any stress or overthinking, try to get out of it. This will enhance natural immunity. I hope this was helpful.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. G. S. S. Sandeep
Dr. G. S. S. Sandeep


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