Spanish Version
 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Pityriasis rubra pilaris

PRP; Pityriasis pilaris; Lichen ruber acuminatus; Devergie disease

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

Causes

There are several subtypes of PRP. The cause is unknown, although genetic factors and an abnormal immune response may be involved. One subtype is associated with HIV/AIDS.

Symptoms

PRP is a chronic skin condition in which orange or salmon-colored scaly patches with thick skin develop on the hands and feet.

The scaly areas may cover much of the body. Small islands of normal skin (called islands of sparing) are seen within the areas of the scaly skin. The scaly areas may be itchy. There may be changes in the nails.

PRP can be severe. Although it's not life threatening, PRP can greatly reduce quality of life and limit activities of daily living.

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will examine your skin. Diagnosis is usually made by presence of the unique skin lesions. (A lesion is an abnormal area on the skin). The provider may take samples (biopsies) of the affected skin to confirm the diagnosis and rule out conditions that may look like PRP.

Treatment

Topical creams containing urea, lactic acid, retinoids, and steroids may help. More commonly, treatment includes pills taken by mouth such as isotretinoin, acitretin, or methotrexate. Exposure to ultraviolet light (light therapy) may also help. Drugs that affect the body's immune system are currently being studied and may be effective for PRP.

Support Groups

These resources can provide more information on PRP:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you develop symptoms of PRP. Also call if you have the disorder and symptoms worsen.

References

Eastham AB, Femia AN, Qureshi A, Vleugels RA. Treatment options for pityriasis rubra pilaris including biologic agents: a retrospective analysis from an academic medical center. JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(1):92-94. PMID: 23986433 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23986433.

James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Pityriasis rosea, pityriasis rubra pilaris, and other papulosquamous and hyperkeratotic diseases. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 11.

Tobin AM, Kirby B. Pityriasis rubra pilaris. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 187.

  • Pitted keratolysis

    Pitted keratolysis - illustration

    This picture shows pitted, flesh colored "pits" (keratolysis) or depressions on the soles of the feet, associated with a bad odor (mal-odor). This is thought to be caused by overgrowth of diptheroids and micrococcus.

    Pitted keratolysis

    illustration

  • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest - illustration

    This person has pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest, an uncommon skin condition characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling (palmoplantar keratoderma). A characteristic sign of pityriasis rubra pilaris is plugging of the hair follicles with keratin. This picture illustrates areas of uninvolved skin (islands of sparing) surrounded by areas of redness (erythroderma).

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest

    illustration

  • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet - illustration

    This is a picture of pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet. It is an uncommon skin condition characterized by thick scales and salmon-colored patches.

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet

    illustration

  • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms - illustration

    This is a picture of pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms. This is an uncommon skin condition characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling (palmoplantar keratoderma).

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms

    illustration

  • Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up - illustration

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris is an uncommon skin condition. It is characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling, clear areas of normal skin, and thick palms and soles. Hair follicles with keratin plugging is a characteristic sign. Typically the follicle is surrounded with a characteristic orange-red color.

    Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up

    illustration

    • Pitted keratolysis

      Pitted keratolysis - illustration

      This picture shows pitted, flesh colored "pits" (keratolysis) or depressions on the soles of the feet, associated with a bad odor (mal-odor). This is thought to be caused by overgrowth of diptheroids and micrococcus.

      Pitted keratolysis

      illustration

    • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest - illustration

      This person has pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest, an uncommon skin condition characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling (palmoplantar keratoderma). A characteristic sign of pityriasis rubra pilaris is plugging of the hair follicles with keratin. This picture illustrates areas of uninvolved skin (islands of sparing) surrounded by areas of redness (erythroderma).

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the chest

      illustration

    • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet - illustration

      This is a picture of pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet. It is an uncommon skin condition characterized by thick scales and salmon-colored patches.

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the feet

      illustration

    • Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms - illustration

      This is a picture of pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms. This is an uncommon skin condition characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling (palmoplantar keratoderma).

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris on the palms

      illustration

    • Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up - illustration

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris is an uncommon skin condition. It is characterized by salmon-colored patches with scaling, clear areas of normal skin, and thick palms and soles. Hair follicles with keratin plugging is a characteristic sign. Typically the follicle is surrounded with a characteristic orange-red color.

      Pityriasis rubra pilaris - close-up

      illustration

     

    Review Date: 5/2/2017

    Reviewed By: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 09-19-18.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
    adam.com

     
     
     

     

     

    A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.
    Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.