Grover's Disease

Everybody occasionally gets a rash. Most often, they are brought on by skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. But occasionally, less typical causes can also be to blame for rashes—like Grover's Disease.


Transient acantholytic dermatosis, better known as Grover’s disease, is a skin condition where itchy, rough, red papules develop on the trunk typically on the upper abdomen beneath the nipple skin, flanks and on the back. It mostly affects older men and rarely women.

Ralph Grover, a dermatologist from New York, first reported the effects of this condition in 1970. He found that the most cases lasted six to twelve months (hence the word “transient”). Unfortunately for some, it lasted longer.

Most people with this condition get red, itchy spots, while others get blisters. This main symptom is also called “Grover’s rash.”


The cause of Grover’s disease is unknown. Some doctors think that sun-damaged skin or extreme changes in temperature play a role. One popular, but unproven, theory is that it may be linked to sweating.

Grover’s disease cases have occurred in men who use warming items or equipment such as hot tubs, steam rooms, and electric blankets, among others. It can also be caused by certain medications, organ transplants, kidney disease, dialysis, or x-ray exposure.

In a report published by Yale University, symptoms of Grover's disease are commonly triggered or worsened by several factors:

  • Sweating
  • Heat
  • Prolonged bedrest (e.g., during hospitalization)
  • Ultraviolet light or sunlight
  • Ionizing radiation (e.g., from X-rays or CT scans)
  • Medications (e.g., some chemotherapy drugs)
  • Dry skin, especially in winter months
  • Grover’s disease sometimes arises in people who have certain types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis.


A skin biopsy may be needed in order to confirm the diagnosis if there is an appearance of a rash. Dermatologists usually make this recommendation to make sure it’s not something worse like cancer. Usually it isn’t.

Most cases of Grover’s disease last less than a year, although the condition might occasionally last longer depending on seasonal variables.


Mild rashes can be treated with:

  • Antihistamines
  • Prescription Cortison cream
  • Other anti-itch lotions tant contain menthol or camphor

Severe symptoms can be hard to treat and may keep coming back. Long term treatments are necessary in this case.

Treatments that may be used for severe symptoms are:

  • Antifungal pills
  • Antifungal lotions such as selenium sulphide
  • Cortisone shots
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Systemic retinoid

Doctors may also recommend that you take fewer baths and showers and that you don’t spend too many hours in the sun.


According to Medical News Today, since the skin condition can be triggered by sweating and heat, doctors advise those who may be at risk to stay away from places and activities that could make them sweat excessively or overheat.

You may keep yourself safe from the triggers by avoiding intense sun exposure or wearing cool and comfortable garments that wick moisture away and prevent sweat rash.

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