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Pityriasis rubra pilaris

Definition

Pityriasis rubra pilaris is a skin disorder that causes constant inflammation and scaling (exfoliation) of the skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

There are many different types of pityriasis rubra pilaris. The cause is unknown, although genetic factors may play a role.

Symptoms

Pityriasis rubra pilaris is a chronic skin condition in which pink, scaly patches and thick skin develop on the hands and feet.

The pink scaly areas cover much of the body. Small "islands" of normal skin are seen within the areas of pink, scaly skin.

Signs and tests

Treatment

Topical creams containing urea or lactic acid may help. More commonly, treatment includes pills taken by mouth such as isotretinoin, acitretin, or methotrexate.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Prevention

References

Pityriasis Rosea, Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris, and Other Papulosquamous and Hyperkeratotic Diseases. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. . 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 11.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.