Background  Pityriasis rosea (PR) is an acute, inflammatory disease of unknown cause. Clinical and experimental findings indicate an infectious etiology of PR. Our purpose is to examine the skin lesions and blood samples of PR patients by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of HSV type 1 and 2 DNA.

Methods  The lesional skin biopsies from 10 patients and blood samples from two randomized patients with clinically and histologically confirmed pityriasis rosea were examined by PCR.

Results  No HSV 1 and HSV 2 DNA was detected in the lesional biopsy and blood samples.

Conclusions  We could not identify a relationship between HSV 1, HSV 2 and PR.