What Is Grover's Disease?


Grover's disease, also known as transient acantholytic dermatosis, is a skin condition that results in small, red blisters. A relatively rare and unknown condition, most cases are irritating but nonthreatening. The condition usually appears suddenly, and tends to affect men older than 40 years of age.


The cause of Grover's disease is unknown. Some physicians have speculated it might be related to the body's sweat ducts because the condition sometimes follows sweating or extreme heat. The condition often arises in excessively dry skin, and many patients have already experienced some extent of sun damage. It does not appear to be contagious.


Grover's disease typically manifests itself around the trunk of the body. It often affects the central back and mid-chest area. The small red lesions are often firm and raised. These spots might blister or erode, sometimes causing bleeding. The rash is often itchy, but in many cases the spots may appear without any symptoms or signs of a rash.

Time Frame

Most cases of Grover's disease last six to 12 months, though sometimes longer. The condition often reoccurs. Flare-ups are common during sudden weather shifts, such as the changing of seasons.


The look of Grover's disease is distinctive. Under a microscope it might appear as blisters containing a watery liquid. These blisters often cluster and appear with a red, swollen border around them. The cells look separated and may have an abnormal shape to them. Because of its distinctive appearance, a shave skin biopsy is often done.


While there is no cure for Grover's Disease, treatments are available to alleviate symptoms. The application of talc powder often helps to resist sweating. Loose clothing is also helpful. Sometimes phototherapy may be prescribed, although in certain cases it might worsen the condition. For mild cases, anti-fungal pills have proven effective, although Grover's disease is not a fungal condition, and hydro-cortisone cream often relieves the itch. In more serious cases, prescription pills of Tetracycline or Accutane clear up the rash.


While recurrences of Grover's disease are not surprising, finding the treatment that is right for you can help alleviate the irritating symptoms. It is also important to identify triggers that cause flare-ups so you can avoid them. Finding a good doctor willing to try different treatment methods is also very helpful.


While Grover's disease is not a serious condition in and of itself, if left untreated it can lead to serious skin problems. Any type of skin abnormality should be checked by a doctor.

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