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You are here: Home » Did Detoxing Cause a Bout of Pityriasis Rosea?

The short answer to the question is I don’t know. Apparently, I’m not the only one that doesn’t know, the medical community does not know.

Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash. The rash basically affects the back, the torso and may spread to the arms legs and chest. The initial outbreak looks like a circular or oval raised rash. Over the next couple of weeks, additional outbreaks occur but each subsequent manifestation is not as large as the first original outbreak. In other words, there is a mother rash center and the rest are smaller bumps (The American Academy of Dermatology  has a good photo of the “mother” rash).

In some cases, as with mine, prior to the initial outbreak, there are symptoms of headache and fatigue. Some people also get nauseous. The headache and fatigue lasts for about 2 or 3 days. Then about a week afterward, the first outbreak appears.

What Causes Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis rosea

Wikipedia Image of Pityriasis Rosea

No one really knows. What the medical community does know is that is not caused by a virus, bacteria or a fungus. It is not contagious and requires no medical intervention. Some people seek medical help to reduce the itchiness, but other than that, no intervention is needed. It goes away by itself over a period of 6 to 8 weeks.

My Theory on This Bout of Pityriasis Rosea

Keep in mind this is just my theory (and my theories have been wrong before). I’m thinking this outbreak has something to do with detoxing. Over the last year, I’ve been taking steps towards cleaning up my diet and reducing my chemical exposures.

On a dietary level, I only eat real, unprocessed foods. I’ve ditched all additives and food chemicals. I make sure to purchase beef from grass fed cows, free range chickens and wild salmon. Keeping in mind that the food is only as pure as my supplier says it is, I realize nothing is 100% foolproof.

I’ve reduced my grain consumption and basically eat organic grains purchased from the health store. I’ve dumped wheat and products with wheat. I cook 99% of my own food and am thoughtful of my food choices when eating out.

On the chemical front, I make all of my own cleaning products, dropped beauty products with ingredients I’m not familiar with and stopped using toxic hair colors for my hair (henna is a great alternative).

To help remove additional toxins from my system, I juice my veggies a few times a week and have been known to drink a shot or two of wheatgrass when available. In other words, I’ve made quite a few changes in an attempt to clean up my act.

Since my body is full of toxins, it is my theory that as I continue making cleaner choices, the cells containing the old toxins eventually die off. Those toxins are finding their way out of my system. I’ve gone through the early flu-like symptoms when I first started on this journey. Since then, I keep an eye out for potential detoxing symptoms.

In my case, I feel pityriasis rosea is my body’s way of tossing out toxins that live far beneath the surface. It has been several months of cleaner eating and almost a year without MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and the like, maybe I’m finally getting to the deeply seeded toxins that were never disturbed before. Now that they no longer receive their daily dose of processed food poisons, they are dying off and my body is getting rid of them in the form of my not so attractive outbreak.

Staying the Course

At my age, I’m not putting on a bikini nor am I showing too much of my skin, so my outbreak isn’t noticeable to the general public. At its worst, it was slightly itchy, but all signs of itchiness are gone now. The rash isn’t attractive, but it will go away over time. In the meanwhile, life goes on as usual.

As with all symptoms of detoxification, if I keep doing the right thing eventually I’ll feel better than I did before, so I’m staying the course.

Update 5/4/13:  I resolved this slightly uncomfortable situation within a week by taking diatomaceous earth.    I started taking DE on April 26th. I noticed a gradual improvement within 4 days and by the 7th day all signs of pityriasis rosea had disappeared!  Hopefully I’ll get around to writing a full post on the wonders of diatomaceous earth.

About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog, Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Ailments, Rash, Real Food

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cassidy February 26, 2020, 11:41 pm

    Hi there!
    I am so glad I came across your article. I too got pitaryasis rosea after doing a 3 week cleanse!! It was horrible! I got it exactly a year ago, and want to do the cleanse again. So you put the earth stuff directly on your skin like baby powder? For how long? and then do I rinse it off?

    • Felicia February 27, 2020, 8:16 am

      Hi Cassidy,

      It was a while ago so I had to refer to my journal to see what I did. I took two teaspoons a day in a glass of water, one in the morning and one in the early evening. I also increased my water intake while taking diatomaceous earth.

      I used diatomaceous earth topically for dust mites after going through a box of very old photos and papers.

      In reading through the comments for this post, I realize I gave “dust mite” advice for a “Pityriasis Rosea” comment. I’ve since removed the original comment and reply in order not to confuse things. In both cases, diatomaceous earth was the solution to the problem, but they were applied differently.

  • AmyT February 7, 2018, 12:05 pm

    I too got Pityriasis from doing a detox. I eliminated dairy, gluten and processed foods. I additionally added a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar to my morning routine as well as Kombachu, and my skin went bizerk. I have the rash on my entire body :( I stopped taking ACV two days ago and it is actually getting better, so hoping that helps! Good luck to all you who have it, it is no fun!

    • Felicia February 8, 2018, 8:36 am

      Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. When I had it, it was summertime and boy was it uncomfortable when the sun hit it.

      Good luck with getting rid of it.

  • Mar August 28, 2016, 11:58 pm

    I’ve been diagnosed with pityrisasis rosea too … and I’ve been eating super healthy non-GMO food since january-february. I’m even going gradually vegan. I hope this will go away fast. I’m helping out with some more detox diet…
    thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Felicia August 29, 2016, 9:48 pm

      Good luck to you, Mar. I believe the diatomaceous earth helped to cure my bout with pityrisasis rosea. Hopefully your bout will clear up quickly.

  • Felicia August 20, 2016, 2:48 pm

    I sprinkled it like baby powder. Since you’re applying it to the face I would probably use a makeup brush or something that would ensure it is placed right where you want it. Good luck. I’m not sure if we were both suffering from the same ailment, but it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

  • Jenny C October 13, 2015, 12:58 pm

    I googled did detox cause pityriasis rosea and landed on your website. I got PR when I was probably at my healthiest in terms of diet…I was drinking lots of green juices, salads, and cutting back on gluten, dairy when I got the first outbreak. Prior to this, I believe I was living in a flat that had mold for 6 months. However, most things I read said it’s cause my virus though? How long did your PR outbreak last? I’m in my second week now…

    • Felicia October 27, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Sorry for the late response. Check out the bottom of the article where I mention getting rid of it in 7 days using diatomaceous earth.

  • Jaymee Danielle June 4, 2014, 5:07 pm

    Love this article. I completely relate but I’m failing to find anyone else who has a similar story. It’s weird I would get this rash when I’ve been so cautious about what I eat. I also just finished doing a parasite & bowl cleanse a few months ago.

    Thanks you for sharing your story