About grover's disease

What is grover\'s disease?

Grover's disease is a rare, transient skin disorder that consists of small, firm, raised red lesions, most often on the skin of the chest and back. Diagnosis of this disorder becomes apparent under microscopic examination when the loss of the "cement" that holds the skin cells together is observed. Over time, as the skin loses the "cement", the cells separate (lysis). Small blisters containing a watery liquid are present. These blisters tend to group and have a swollen red border around them. Grover's disease is mainly seen in males older than forty or fifty. Its cause is unknown but it is thought to be related to trauma to sun damaged skin.

What are the symptoms for grover\'s disease?

The most common symptom of Grover’s disease is the small, round, or oval red bumps that form on the skin. They’re typically firm and raised.

You may also see the appearance of blisters. These typically have a red border and are filled with a watery liquid.

Both the Bumps and Blisters appear in groups on the chest, neck, and back. This rash will likely itch severely, although not everyone experiences itching.

What are the causes for grover\'s disease?

Dermatologists have studied skin cells under a microscope to understand how Grover’s disease happens. The outermost layer of skin is called the horny layer. People with Grover’s disease have an abnormal horny layer that disrupts how the skin cells attach to each other. When the skin cells detach (a process called lysis), bumps or blisters form.

Scientists don’t know for sure what causes this abnormality. Some doctors believe it’s caused by excessive environmental damage to the skin that’s occurred over many years. Other doctors believe excessive heat and sweating causes Grover’s disease. This is because some people first notice a breakout after using steam baths or hot tubs.

One recorded case of Grover’s disease has been linked back to, or at least co-occurred alongside, skin parasites.

What are the treatments for grover\'s disease?

If you have a mild rash, the first treatments may include:

  • Antihistamines, taken by mouth
  • Prescription cortisone cream, applied to the rash
  • Other anti-itch lotions that contain menthol or camphor

If your symptoms are very bad, your doctor may suggest retinoids or an antibiotic taken by mouth. But, these medicines can cause side effects (some may be severe). Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the medications you are prescribed.

Severe, stubborn symptoms can be hard to treat and may keep coming back. This could mean you need long-term treatment. Your doctor may prescribe light therapy combined with medications if this happens.

Other treatments that may be used for severe symptoms are:

  • Antifungal pills
  • Antifungal lotions such as selenium sulfide
  • Cortisone shots, 
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Systemic retinoid 

Your doctor may also suggest you reduce activities that can cause a lot of sweating (like heavy-duty workouts), since sweating can worsen the rash.

Your doctor might also recommend that you take fewer baths and showers, and that you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun.

What are the risk factors for grover\'s disease?

Grover’s disease usually happens in men over 50. However, women sometimes get it, too.

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