Grover’s disease


Also known as transient acantholytic dermatosis

What is Grover’s disease?

Grover’s disease is a skin condition where red spots and small lumps develop most commonly in the sun-damaged skin of the front and back of the upper chest and abdomen. It most commonly affects middle-aged or elderly men and only rarely women.

What causes it?

The cause of Grover’s disease is unknown.

What does it look like?

An individual with Grover’s disease has red or pink spots over the upper chest and back. These spots are often itchy and the skin is fragile when scratched. This can make the spots appear like small blisters or eroded areas.

What other problems can occur with this condition?

The lesions of Grover’s disease may cause no symptoms or may be intensely itchy.

The itchiness associated with this condition is frequently made worse by heat, humidity, sweating, tight clothing and more ultraviolet exposure.

The spots persist for many years. They may cause no symptoms. However, more frequently, there are times when the affected person may have a flare of itchiness that needs treatment.

Grover’s disease rarely resolves completely.

How is it diagnosed?

A dermatologist may make the diagnosis based on the clinical appearance of the skin and the symptoms.

The individual usually feels well apart from their skin symptoms. .

Sometimes a skin biopsy is needed to rule out other skin conditions that may resemble Grover’s Disease.

How is it treated?

General measures

  • Avoid predisposing factors such as heat, excessive sweating or sun exposure.
  • Cooling emollients containing menthol are helpful.

Topical treatment

  • Steroid creams are often effective.
  • Similarly, calcipotriol cream may be helpful.

Systemic treatment is rarely required but may include the following:

This information has been written by Dr Emma Ryan
Last Updated 06/04/2017


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