New Health Guide

Grover’s Disease

Nov 03, 2013

image001Grover’s disease is rare and is a transient skin disorder. It usually occurs on the back and chest and consists of raised red lesions that are small and firm. Most of the time Grover’s disease will last between six and twelve months. This disease is most common in men who are over 40 or 50 years old and specialists think it is related to trauma that occurs to skin damaged by the sun.

Features of Grover’s Disease

  • As mentioned in the introduction, Grover’s disease is most common in men over 50 years old. It is much less common for younger people and women. Although healthy people can develop it, it more commonly affects people who are unwell.
  • This disease starts suddenly most of the time. Usually it comes after unexpected heat stress or sweating. It is characterized by spots that are intensely itchy on the mid chest, central back and occasionally other locations.
  • On average, the itchiness will last for 10 to 12 months. During this time, papulovesicles and papules with excoriations will occur on the thighs, arms, lower sternum, back and chest, with the mid chest being the most common area.
  • In some cases, Grover’s disease will be present despite the lack of a conspicuous rash or itch. This is rare, however, and most cases involve a great deal of itching.

Causes of Grover’s Disease

  • Specialists are unsure about the cause of Grover’s disease. They do believe, however, that it can be triggered by sweating and heat, sunlight, prolonged bed rest, mechanical irritation, end-stage hemodialysis/renal disease and bad reactions to medications or ionizing irradiation.
  • In some cases, Grover’s disease is associated with certain medications including interleukin-4, cetuximab, ribavirin and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. A series of 300 Grover’s disease patients showed a link with coexisting dermatoses such as xerosis cutis, contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.

Treatments for Grover’s Disease

In minor cases, cortisone topical creams which are prescription strength can control the outbreaks associated with Grover’s disease. Larger outbreaks will usually require taking Accutane or tetracycline for between one and three months. In the case of a severe outbreak or if the medications do not work, other options include antifungal pills, cortisone injections and PUVA phototherapy treatments. The treatment process for Grover’s disease may also include:

  • Diphemanil methylsulfate powder
  • Calcipotriol cream
  • Staying cool as sweating can lead to more itchy spots
  • Oral retinoids like isotretinoin or acitretin have been used experimentally
  • Mild topical steroids like a cool lotion with hydrocortisone
  • Phototherapy (this can help but in some cases it can also worsen the problem)
  • Antipruritic lotions or moisturizing creams with menthol and camphor
  • Oral antifungal medications (like itraconazole) or tetracycline