is NOT caused by a vitamin D deficiency -- in fact, no one is exactly certain WHAT causes it, though it is believed to be viral in nature. Oddly enough, sometimes (but not all the time), oral antibiotics are prescribed and some patients see results, though this may be coincidental. Yes, antibiotics are not effective against viruses -- thus the quandary with PR
Sunlight is recommended for treatment because low doses of UV can be helpful for speeding up the healing process and fading of the rash. There is the inherent danger of sunburn, however, and also the possibility of hyper-pigmentation if the area gets TOO much sun. This is usually seen in individuals with darker skin tones. If you want to get some sun to help this condition, do so in moderate doses and do not allow yourself to get burned. PR
is diagnosed using a visual exam only. There are no other tests required.
It is important that you do see a dermatologist to make sure this is what you have -- if it is something else you will need to address it ASAP.
Generally speaking, PR
will clear up when left alone in about six weeks, give or take. In rare cases it can last as long as three months. It very rarely ever occurs again. For most folks, one breakout of PR
is all they'll see of it in their lifetime.
If the itching is very intense, a doc can provide a cortisone injection which will ease the discomfort for a couple days, getting you through the worst of it.
Home remedies to reduce itching are discussed in the posts above: topical cortisone creams work well, as do calamine lotion and soothing soaks in oatmeal baths.
Avoid scratching at all costs, though this is very difficult. You can easily get a superficial infection from too much scratching, spread the rash around a little bit, and any cuts and scrapes you get will be that much more uncomfortable because they will not only sting but itch as well. If the itching is driving you crazy, try the remedies listed above. You can also place a clean, dry towel over the area and just gently PRESS on the surface to help relieve itching. Do not rub, just press.
Hope this information helps.