PRP Survival Guide

A view from the microscope

How is pityriasis rubra pilaris pronounced?

This is not as stupid a question as it might sound. When a dermatologist confirms the diagnosis as “pityriasis rubra pilaris or PRP” we too often hear only the acronym “PRP”.  That’s easy to say.

I confirmed the proper spelling of pityriasis rubra pilaris from the paperwork I brought home from the dermatology clinic and soon discovered that the three-letter acronym was useless when searching Yahoo or Google for PRP.  Platelet-Rich Plasma is the only game in town when searching for “PRP”.

  • pityriasis — “Any of various skin diseases marked by the shedding of bran-like scales of epidermis.” My mind conjured up an image of Raisin Bran cereal (the flakes, not the raisins)
  • rubra – red. That’s a no-brainer.
  • pilaris — pertaining to the hair follicle

For the most part, everyone you know — family, friends, co-workers — will defer to the way YOU pronounce pityriasis rubra pilaris whether your pronunciation is correct or not. The fact is, even dermatologists don’t seem to agree.

Here are the first words you say:

I have a very VERY rare skin disease that is NOT contagious. It’s called PRP which  stands for …

    • pity-RYE-a-sis ROO-bra pill-LAR-is
    • pity-REE-a-sis ROO-bra pill-LAR-is
    • pity-RYE-a-sis ROO-bra pill-LAIR-is
    • pity-REE-a-sis ROO-bra pill-LAIR-is

Whatever pronunciation you use, say it with confidence. Say it with authority. Your audience — whether a family member, friend, co-worker, employer, teacher or school administrator — is predisposed to consider you the subject matter expert. 

Let’s face it — your are the subject matter expert of your version of PRP. Moreover, you will become a more informed subject-matter expert with every passing day.