Potential Cure For Grover's Disease

My first outbreak of Grover's was in 2003, although at the time, the dermatologists didn't seem to know what was causing my rash and fierce itching.  In 2005 a dermatologist in Olympia Washington diagnosed me as having Grover's disease.  If you have it, then you don't need an explanation of how diabolical the itching can be.  I was given topical steroids to temporarily reduce the itching, but I stili had many sleepless nights.

About 30 years ago I developed a rash across my shoulders and acroos the top of my back.  My dermatologist referred to it as cold weather excema (spelling?).  Last February I began wondering if there was a connection between lack of sunlight or vitamin D and the onset of Grover's.  I began tanning bed sessions, and then began taking vitamin D tablets.  I have not had an outbreak since early February and this is now the end of May.

I reported my findings to the New England Medical Journal and asked them to run a copy of my lletter in their journal, but they felt it was inappropriate.  I have also written to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, but have had no repsonse as  of yet.  I am posting this message as a way to get the word out to those persons suffering from Grover's in hopes that they might at least try my suggestion.  It's totally benign and the worst that could happen is that there will be no effect on your Grover's.

I welcome your comments.

Richard (****) Walker
Olympia, Washington
teachndick teachndick
17 Responses May 23, 2010

You gave yourself phototherapy which is a primary therapy for Grover's, but the tanning beds are destructive UVA and UVB while the targeted phototherapy at medical centers is deep focused UVB and does not cause the skin damage that the UVA causes.

Had it for a few weeks only. Couldn't make the itching stop. Sores got bigger and redder, and spread. Wife put on isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Stopped the itching immediately. Saw a dermatologist, she said it was Grover's. I think a bad sunburn followed by working outside and having back soaked in perspiration caused it. I still work outside a lot, and have soaked shirts, but shower right away, and frequently use a back scrubbing brush (soft) with anti bacterial soap. Hasn't come back. Very relieved.

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One of the most annoying aspects of being diagnosed with Grovers disease is confirmation that i am getting old, which I have done my best to refuse to admit for a decade now. The itching is bad enough but the fact that it is commonly referred to as an "older man's disease" adds insult to injury. I live in the Northeast portion of the USA and unlike most posting here I find my outbreaks to be highly seasonal and confined to the winter months and restricted to my back. Sun and or sweating seem to have nothing to do with the outbreaks. However the reason for this post is to alert all of you sufferers to another possible source of effective relief: A truly talented acupuncturist. There is one, thank God, in my area who is quite a remarkable woman. She has cured a-rhythmia in a friend who previously underwent surgical ablations at NYU to no effect. I went to her to treat a seasonal circulatory problem that manifested itself in the tips of my toes turning black in the winter months and Grovers disease which I began experiencing, in the winter, several years ago. She has managed to cure me of both problems within one month. I have been without symptoms of Grovers for almost a year now. They have begun to recur again in the past two weeks and are driving me crazy and - wouldn't you know it - at just this time she is away for a month. To be honest, I suspect most acupuncturists might not be as effective as she has been since she is far from typical and quite remarkable at her craft. But it's certainly worth a try.

My husband has grovers but also at risk for melanoma! So tanning bed is out! Any other solutions?

Hi I read your story and identify with your frustration. I just created a website for those of us who suffer from Grovers Disease. I'm not selling anything. I AM trying to help reduce stress and help prevent others from going thru endless doctor visits and wasting money. I would value your opinion if you would take a few minutes to look at it and tell me if you think it would have helped you initially. I want it to grow to help others. So going forward any suggestions would help me help others. Especially since I'm doing research on blogging and if starting. Blog might also help. I've never blogged before so I won't jump in unless I can really help. Please read my personal story under Treatment, and Relief. You are not alone. Also as I read thru all these stories of frustration I see our Disease is not being treated with respect from the medical community. Too much antibiotics that kill everything and leave our immune systems wide open to attack. My recent bout was as a result of No-see-ems bites. Made me sick, stressed, and another breakout. As I move forward we need to improve our health. Not bombard our bodies with more meds

I'm gonna try that. I have been tanning, but it hasn't helped yet, but maybe with the vit D, it will. Thanks for the tip.

This is really useful and I will try this and let you know what happens. My first step will be to have a test for vitaminn D to see if I have a deficiency. I will then do what you suggest based on the fact that I do have a deficiency.

My Grovers came on "completely out of the blue" in may 2013 following an operation in december in 2012 and a period laid up in plaster. Plaster came off in March 2013 and then in may intense irritation and rash appeared on my back and inner thighs.

i am suffering with this disease too. i am asian and my country is really hot so sweat most of the time. its really hard for me as the red spots come out and itching. i've seek many doctors but they said it was a normal allergic. i am so sad with the doctor's statement. they also make fun of me when i told them that i can't expose to sun. how to cure this? i've tried a lot of things but still can't get rid of this. :(

I was just recently told I have Grover's. I am a 46 year old white female and have probably had it for about 6 years. My bumps are on my upper belly right under the bra line and little upper back. Mine does not itch never has and randomly one of the bumps will brake open and dry up and that area becomes sensitive till fully healed. It almost completely goes away in the winter months when I am out of the sun. I am sure mine is due to over tanning. These are the things I have found as of the last couple years and just within the last month or so of experimenting. Shorter stints of sun exposure with out sunblocks as to not clog pores more, shower off when sweaty after prolong heat or work outs ASAP then apply coconut oil (because it is antifungal) that has made a big difference. This blogg was the most helpful thus far. Thank you all so very much it is great to have found this site. Peace

I thought in the 15 years I have dealt with this, there might be better medical progress. Very sad. I am using raw unprocessed expeller pressed coconut oil. It is helping the skin recover and reduce the itching. I feel it's better than any other remedy I have tried.

I just got my diagnosis of Grover's, but have had it for decades (with many misdiagnoses). My doctor put me on retina A, and it has helped somewhat after only a week of use. I was advised to avoid further sun exposure (this includes tanning beds) as it will do harm rather than good...sun damage is the main suspect with this disease. <br />
Very, very hot water on your skin for a few minutes will basically make your nerve receptors work overtime, and therefore when the hot water is stopped, they have a hard time registering itch for a few hours. I was told the water should be almost scalding...if the water is just very warm, it will only aggravate the itch. <br />
Finally, keep moisturizing your skin, several times a day. I used Argan or Olive oil, as these sink into the skin exceedingly well.

I was diagonised with Grovers Disease at the age of 29. I am a fair skinned female with blonde hair and blue eyes. I am know 53 years old and still have the rash on the middle of my back and my stomach. At times I don't even know it is there, but when I am in the sun, even if that area is covered, it gets so itchy and flares up. When I was young I would also get sunburns and in my late teen years, I was sunburnt to the point where I had sun poisoning and blisters. About 3 years ago I was diagonised with melanomia. I was only a Stage 0. I have also had several Basal Cell tumors removed. I truly feel that alot of my skin issues today are due to over exposure of the sun. Please be careful in the sun and when using tanning beds. Tanning beds are just as dangerous as the sun. Even though I have had Grover's disease for along time, I do not know alot about it. I would welcome any information you have regarding this disease.<br />
<br />
Thank you! :)


Vitamin D deficiency can affect bone structure, but Grover's affects a lot of people whose skin has been subjected to too much sun exposure. In Australia, it's generally found in older males who have spent a lot of time in the sun. This has affected the fabric of the skin and weakened the pores. In that case there is no cure, only palliative treatment which subdues the outbreaks as they occur. There are many events which appear to be linked to Grover's but note that it's described as a transient disease, so any 'cures' which people discover for themselves may need to stand the test of time. For example, someone who has the disease tries something and it works - for a while. That's not a cure, that's a palliative. <br />
I have been diagnosed with the disease, red blotchy skin on my chest, where the skin is thinner due to sun exposure. That's not too much of a problem, but it also occurs in the hairy pubic area, breaking out from time to time a few days after sport. This is rather like prickly heat, and similar treatment is effective. The dermatologist prescribed a cortisone cream, but I avoid using it because it suppresses the symptoms - which means it suppresses the auto-immune system. <br />
So I experimented by applying hot water to the affected area to draw out the damaged pores and allow them to heal, a little larger than they were before. This is similar to the process people used in the old days with a hot poultice. Mild salt water, heated, and apply it to the affected area for about 5 minutes or longer. You just have to keep dabbing it back into the bowl to keep it hot. Press it gently on the skin. <br />
It stops the itch fairly quickly. Dry the area, then dust lightly with baby powder (to keep it dry). <br />
The itchy areas will look terrible, and they'll crust over. You have to do this heat treatment twice a day for two days. No more. Then just lightly dust it with baby powder and it will heal within a week. <br />
This has reduced the outbreaks, but as I said at the beginning, that might not be connected with the 'treatment' but simply a naturally process inherent in the body. <br />
Let me know how you get on.

Hi, I agree with your comments. I too have probably exposed myself to way too much of the beautiful Australian sun. It interests me to experiment with the deep dermous ability to repair skin after the likes of fraxel skin treatments. It seems to be a waste of time to keep pouring on the chortesone creams which only mask the problem. Clearly our skin is not functioning from a deeper level than the surface. I will however try your salt water solution. Anything is worth a try!

I too have been diagnosed which amazes me especially when I read all the comments, wouldnt think I would apply to any !! However, I am more interested in discovering what truly causes it, and I can only think my blood must be contaminated, although blood tests say all ok. I will embark on a total detox using no prescription products, this will take 12 weeks, and will advise if I think in fact it has helped. The skin must function at a deeper level than the surface! My part of the body where I have the outbreak has not ever been exposed to the sun, so I have to explore deeper!

Thank you PhilKir. I was just diagnosed by derm w/GD. She gave typical prescription for Triamcinolone Cortisone. My health problems all began 6 yrs ago after taking Prednisone .. the EVIL steroid. I know the damage, so it was scary to think of using this corisone. Then I read your post ... and I called the pharmacist &amp; said do not fill! You confirmed what I was thinking, but yet felt hopeless.

I tried the tanning bed for awhile, but was unsure if it was doing any good since I was still suffering from symptoms. Do you use the recommended creams the tanning salon suggests? I did at first and then used nothing while tanning. I may try it again now that I've read this. How about Vitamin A as well as D? I keep reading about Vitamin A.

That’s the beauty of the World Wide Web you can spread the word to millions of people. Wondering why you used a tanning bed instead of sunshine. Cheers!