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Treatment for Grover's Disease

Updated June 13, 2017

Grover's disease, or transient acantholytic dermatosis, is a skin disorder that most commonly affects middle-age white men, although it has been diagnosed in women, various ethnic groups and children. It's characterised by a sudden appearance of red, bumpy, itchy spots on the body, especially the back and chest. Because it's similar to other skin problems, the disease is probably underdiagnosed, according to The Doctor's Doctor. It can take six months or much longer for the rash to go away. Occasionally, outbreaks of Grover's disease may lead to the development of dermatitis.

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Avoid Sweating

The rash that indicates Grover's disease often appears in the wake of excessive heat or sweating. More sweating will lead to more itching, which will lead to more scratching and possibly bleeding. To keep all of this at a minimum and allow the existing outbreak to heal, it's important to stay cool and avoid sweating when possible.


An over-the-counter steroid cream, such as hydrocortisone, can be applied to the rash as often as needed to soothe itching. Prescription-strength topical cortisone creams often are an effective remedy for minor outbreaks. For more severe outbreaks, your doctor may recommend taking Accutane or Tetracycline for one to three months, according to DocDerm.

Soothe the Itch

Applying baby powder to the affected areas as needed will help soothe the itching, helping the rash heal and reducing the odds of a recurrence. Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air will also make flare-ups less likely.

For Extreme Cases

When all other treatments have failed, your doctor might suggest treatments including oral corticosteroids, exposure to UV-B or psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), or grenz ray therapy, which is similar to ultraviolet radiation but less risky, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. However, the most extreme cases of Grover's disease may resist all efforts at treatment.

Other Considerations

Although the exact cause of Grover's disease is not known, there may be a correlation with sun damage and extremely dry skin--both of which harm the basement membrane--and mercury toxicity, according to Paul Dantzig of the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University School of Medicine. Because mercury in the body causes the cellular reaction that results in Grover's disease, people with the disease should diligently avoid exposure to mercury.

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About the Author

Jennifer Kirby

Jennifer Kirby has a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a newspaper staffer until 2002, when she began working as a freelance copy editor and writer.

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