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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Pityriasis rubra pilaris

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial pityriasis rubra pilaris
  • Pityriasis rubra pilaris--familial type
  • PRP
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What are the signs and symptoms of pityriasis rubra pilaris?

Features of this condition vary greatly between affected individuals. The onset is gradual in the familial type and can be more rapid in the acquired type. Redness and scaling of the face and scalp are often seen first, followed by redness and thickening of the palms and soles.[1] Overall, the elbows, knees, backs of the hands and feet, and ankles are most commonly affected.[2] A more widespread eruption consisting of scaling orange-red plaques can be observed on the trunk and extremities. The lesions may expand and coalesce and eventually cover the entire body. When the disease becomes widespread, the nails, mucous membranes and eyes may be affected.[1] The familial type often persists throughout life, but the acquired form may have periods of remission (periods of time where symptoms improve or completely resolve).[1]
Last updated: 9/20/2010

  1. Goldsmith LA, Baden HP. Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris. In: Freedberg, et al., ed. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 6th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2003;
  2. Sybert VP. Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris. Genetic Skin Disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1997;