What is Grover’s disease?
Grover’s disease also called as “transient acantholytic dermatosis” is a rare skin condition that is characterized by itchy red spots on the trunk which appears suddenly and most often affects older men above 50 years of age. It can be resolved on its own. However, you may get a recurrent appearance of spots for years. It is most common in fair skinned men. The actual cause of Grover’s disease is not known, but it can be related to several other forms of dermatitis such as atopic, contact and asteatotic. Some factors like heat, sweating, friction and dry skin can trigger the condition.
Causes of Grover’s disease
The actual cause of Grover’s disease is not clear. Sweat and sweat glands may have a role to play. Some factors may aggravate the condition. These are:
- Dry skin
- Exposure to the sun
- The friction of skin and skin or skin and clothing
- Hospitalization with bed rest
Diagnosis of Grover’s disease
Grover’s disease is easily recognizable by its appearance, and if you are a middle-aged man above 50 years of age, then it is very much obvious that it is Grover’s disease. Your doctor may take a skin sample and examine under a microscope. If he/she observes the loss of the “cement” that holds the skin cells together, then it is apparent that you may have developed the condition. Over time, the cells separate as the skin loses the cement. Small blisters containing pus may tend to group and have a swollen red border around them. If the condition is confirmed, it may last up to six to twelve months. That’s why it is called “transient.”
Treatment of Grover’s disease
Topical creams – Minor lesions can be healed with topical cortisone creams with a prescription. A mild topical steroid such as hydrocortisone can be applied to the affected areas to relieve itching.
Calcipotriol cream may also be applied to the spots.
A cream of zinc oxide, talc, and glycerol helps with the itching and promotes faster recovery. In France, where it is branded as Aloplastine. In the UK, patients also use Menthol in an Aqueous cream base- preferably sodium lauryl sulfate free to reduce itching.
Oral medications – If topical treatment alone doesn’t work, then your doctor may prescribe you a course of Accutane or tetracycline pills or oral antifungal medication such as itraconazole for one to three months.
Oral retinoids such as acitretin or isotretinoin may also be recommended but, they have important side effects and are not needed for mild cases.
Light Therapy – If other treatments don’t show markable recovery then your doctor may suggest PUVA phototherapy treatment.
Injections – Cortisone injections may be an alternative to oral cortisone.
Prevention of Grover’s disease
However, no such treatment can guarantee to heal the condition completely, but some self-care measures may be taken to prevent the condition.
1. Since sweating is reported as a cause of the condition so, remaining cool can help. Wear cotton clothes as they absorb sweat and don’t cause rashes.
2. Applying moisturizing creams or antipruritic lotions containing menthol and camphor may also help from itching.
3. Your diet should include wheat and gluten and Vit B supplements and eliminate sulfides.