"Grover's disease (transient acantholytic dermatosis) is a condition that appears suddenly as itchy red spots on the trunk, most often in older men. Minor cases of Grover's disease may be rather common. Sometimes the features of Grover's are found in people who do not itch or have a conspicuous rash. Most of the people with Grover's who visit a dermatologist, however, itch a lot."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[YEA] 01/24/2013: Bob from Chapel Hill, Nc: "You might add a category for Sulfides, which may be a cause. I have had Grovers for 20 years or more. And drank wine and scotch for longer. Two years ago, I stopped drinking all alcohol beverages. I have been free from the itching and pain ever since then."Replies
03/18/2013: Tom from Apex, Nc replies: "Hey man, still clear?? I have been suspecting bourbon and am eaten up with the rash now. Nothing has helped from the derm or the web. GO STATE!! Tom"
Gluten Free Diet
[YEA] 12/16/2012: Sue from St. Louis, Mo: "I have had Grover's since I was a teenager, but never knew what it was. I am 56 now. My Dermatologist confirmed it a couple of years ago. She suggested using the cream AmLactin which helped, but it was always there. I noticed when I started having fruit smoothies 5 days a week, my skin improved. A couple of months ago I decided to go on a no wheat diet in hopes of helping with inflammation problems. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and have a lot of pain and stiffness. Well, my pain and stiffness is 60 percent better and the grovers disease seems to be gone for the first time in my life! Oh, and I lost about 7 pounds and feel better than I have in a long time. If I cheat and eat wheat, I am in pain for a couple of days. It is definitely worth a try!"Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/19/2013: Ibhipru from St George, Utah replies: "This is in response to the post implicating wheat as the possible culprit to Grover's Disease. I had undiagnosed grover's sysmptoms for years when my wife and decided to go gluten free. The aggrivating itching and red bumps on my stomach, chest and back cleared up to a great degree. I was formally diagnosed with Grover's recently. I also recently fell off the wagon and consumed wheat at the direction of my Dr who was testing me for a skin problem related to Celiac Disease (Dermatitis Perfitaformis). Almost immediately my Grover's errupted. I have also recently veered from my diet and consumed wheat products with a corresponding flare in my Grovers. I really believe Grover's may be affected by wheat or even all gluten flours."
[YEA] 07/17/2010: Jerry from Huntington Beach, Ca: "I have Grover's Disease, confirmed by a dermatologist and a pathology. My first major outbreak was in 2004, with subsequent major outbreaks in 2006 and 2007. I have discovered that the outbreaks are caused by ingestion of sulfites which I am apparently sensitive to. As you may know, sulfites are plentiful in all manner of food and drink, especially psckaged french fries and hash browns, out of season fruits and vegatables and unfortunately, wine and brandy. (and probably beer) I believe that many years of enjoying alcoholic beverages may have damaged my liver's ability to process sulfites. However, I have found that taking molybdenum has negated my problem with sulfites and I am no longer troubled by Grover's. I take one capsule per day (1, 000 mcg). I have no trouble with wine and occasionally even have a few french fries. I don't know if sulfites cause Grover's outbreaks in anybody else but you might want to consider it."Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/07/2011: Seavid from Los Angeles, Ca replies: "I've had Grovers for over 10 years. After researching and finding mercury might be a cause I tried eating fresh cilantro ever day for several weeks. To my surprise it has helped more than any of the many other things I have tried. The Grovers is not completely gone but it is the best it has ever been since it appeared. Amazing!"
02/09/2012: George from Wall, Nj replies: "Quick relief for grovers itch-Vicks vapo rub-lasts for awhile."
11/30/2007: Jordan from Lansing, MI: "Hi I have a question. For about 3 years now I have experienced itchy bumps that look similar to acne but are not, on my chest before my menstrual cycle. I had dealt with it and just decided it would be yet another thing to deal with during PMS. But now I am having the same problem all the time and it is on my back now as well. They are incredibly itchy and swell when touched and show up only on my chest and back. HELP!"Replies
12/01/2007: Jake from Chicago, Il replies: "For Jordan from Lansing: Your description sounds like it could be Grover's disease - something I have been fighting several years. I did a biopsy a long time ago and it came back -Grover's, and the doctor said it was just something that comes and goes, but that nothing could be done about it. In other words they don't have a clue as to what it is. The last couple of years of my searching, I discovered that some enterprising doctor in N.Y linked it to Mercury and has had some success chelating with Chemet. I have found other ways to deal with it, but first you need to see if it makes sense that that is what you have. Do you have amalgam fillings. If so that's a good clue. Or have you have a lot of injections or innoculations or do you eat a lot of fish. Those are generally the three sources in decending order of mercury toxicity - amalgam generally being the major problem. Mine was related to cracked mercury fillings and I had the last of them out with a carefully identified holistic dentist. Now I'm finding ways to detoxify from 50 years of amalgam in my mouth and my system. The removal along with the pulling of my root canal and the decay sitting beneath each silver (amalgam) filling and in the root canal - which is unavoidable in any root canal as I understand, has made a huge difference in my health over the last 11 months. I had 4 major symptoms that have mostly resolved.
Also were you for any reason suddenly inactive whereas before you regularly exercised? This would be another clue. Mine first showed up after a 10 day hospital stay."
07/20/2009: Jake from Chicago, IL replies: "Iodine for Grover's Disease
I believe I have cured my Grover's Disease with iodine, mostly iodoral which is the pill equivalent of Ludol's iodine - generally 2 to 3 pills providing 25 to 37.5 mgs., but with some kelp too that contains a lot of iodine, as well. It took 2 to 3 weeks but then I realized the red pimples were not coming back. It is now 3 months and there are no signs of the red bumps that covered my back and both sides of my chest for several months - or on my chest less profuse with them than the other areas mentioned, as well."
10/30/2009: Ann from San Francisco, Ca, Usa replies: "Jake, I am curious. Why do you think that the iodine cured your disease? Were you experimenting to cure the Grover's, or were you addressing a different health issue?
I had Grover's forever and had success with Chemet. I am curious about your experience."
10/31/2009: Jake from Chicago, Il replies: "Ann,
I was experimenting with a lot of stuff. The red pimples would not go away. This was my longest bout with Grover's which had come and gone - mostly gone for most of the 18 plus years since it showed up after my cancer operation in 1991. Presumably it now related to my latest bout with mercury from a filling that broke down and was removed by a dentist who was not willing to accept mercury's toxicity (at least to some of us.) My current thinking is that the 1991 cancer and many of my health issues over the years all related to the many amalgams in my mouth as well as two root canals, one of which was removed after it failed.
At any rate, I found some success. The red pimples receded. But then they came back, a couple of times I think. The problem was I experimented with so many things that it was hard to pin down what was producing the results. I surmised wrongly - and it was frustrating. Each time I thought I had it isolated as to the supplement finally giving me relief, I did not in fact have it. I realized eventually however that when I started taking Iodoral - that in fact was the factor. Cold hands and feet and other hypothyroid symptoms had improved, and perhaps that is why I didn't make the immediate connection to the Grover's, as the hypothyroid issue had been my focus. Now I see both issues were probably connected. The thyroid issue too I see related to the mercury toxicity.
The Grover's has still not returned now even though I have at times gone stretches without the Iodoral. I have used other iodine supplements like kelp, and that may be part of the reason. But also, I believe I've continued to detox mercury over these latest months, and that's probably part of it too. I for instance can take cilantro now without the headaches I got before. I believe a lot of mercury is now out of my system - although I also believe I'll probably be detoxing the rest of my life."
11/01/2009: Ann from San Francisco, Ca, Usa replies: "Thanks for the quick response. I also believe that mercury toxicity contributes to many diseases. I am very slightly hypothyroid and I am trying to figure out what is going on before the doc tells me that I have to take T3. Hands and feet are always cold. What I believe - after seeing so clearly that the Grover's was directly related to mercury - is that disease is the result of some imbalance, and I would rather figure out the imbalance than take the prescription pill.
I sauna a lot and thought that maybe I lose iodine when I sweat, so I have been taking some kelp supplements and will retest thyroid in a few months. What I don't know is how much iodine to take. I know the RDA, which I believe is a minimum, but I don't know how much is safe. In other words, I'm sure that there is a maximum, and I don't know what that number is. There is so much info on the web, and much of it is conflicting.
My Grover's is clear enough, and has been for a long time, so the residual rarely flares enough to bother me. Let's say I'm 95% clear. I haven't seen a change in my skin since I started taking the kelp, but then, I'm only taking 2 - 3 times the RDA. What's interesting to me is the potential connection between iodine, thyroid, and Grover's....do you have an idea of the reason that the iodine might have had an impact on your skin?
I also think that I will be detoxing in some form or another for life. I took the Chemet initially because I wanted to use the strongest medicine to get the mercury out as efficiently as possible. Now I take chlorella, eat cilantro, and sauna regularly."
02/26/2010: Louis from Narara, Australia replies: "The itching started about 18 months ago, then came the red pimples all over. Front and back, then the top of the legs and arms. the itching was so bad, at times it feels as if someone was stabbing me wit a needle.In this time I saw 4 doctors,who gave me different ointments to no avail.
Eventually after 6 months I was sent to a specialist who recognised it immediately as Grover's Disease. He put me on steroids 4mg. After 3 days my itching was completely gone I was advised to bring the amount slowly down.
After one year on the steroids I am now only taking 0.5mg every second day. I still get itchy pimples but only by ones, but a mosquito bite is worse"
05/05/2011: Jc from Mv, Ca, Usa replies: "I was diagnosed with Grover's Disease3 yrs ago after symptoms got progressively worse over the previous 2.5 -3 yrs. My Derm subscribed a steroid and said if that didn't help we could try Accutane. The steroid did little to nothing. I wasn't interested in using either of these drugs so I started taking 400 mg garlic capsule supplement, 2@ morning, 2 @ evening. Within a week I was noticing improvement. Within 3 wks I notice a huge improvement. The itching was almost gone and the breakouts were clearing without new breakouts forming. I continued taking that dosage until all was clear. Once it was completely cleared, I reduced the dosage to 2 in the AM. I continue to take this dosage daily to keep the disease at bay. Now and then I do get a few breakouts due to forgetting to take them or possibly fatigue related. When that happens, I increase the dosage for a day or so and then return to 2 in the AM. Garlic is very good for the entire body, it is naturally anti-fungus, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. I hope you find success with this wonderful alternative to treating groves disease. It has been a true God send for me."
05/06/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa replies: "Thank you on the garlic, I use garlic liquid caps. 1000 mg; I also itch alot, most times I forget to take the garlic caps. And itch again. Some one else mentioned on this site to use fresh garlic and fresh lemon so I use both in apple cider accept I buy real lemon in a bottle and what a great juice drink, I grind up my fresh garlic in a blender then push it through a strainer not a colender, it used to be a coffee or tea strainer they are still sold in stores. All three are a great combo."
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 05/23/2011: Buddy from Kingman, Az replies: "Hi Guys, I also had Grover's disease (have) I had all the metal fillings taken from my teeth. (Contain mercury) Been over a month, seems to be cleared-up, almost all gone, try it good luck God Bless.
You'll be glad you did.. Buddy"
07/01/2011: Lisa from Boston, Ma replies: "I have been recently diagnosed with grover's but have had a few red bumps for many many years but it was so slight that I just thought it was from working out. However in February and early March I developed a pretty big rash and went to have a biopsy and - my dermatologist said it was definitely Grover's. So I have been on two topical creams and they don't seem to be doing anything except drying out my clear skin. I am so stressed over these bumps. I was so itchy that the Dr.gave me a cortizone shot yesterday - which has already helped. But, I really am interested in trying some natural cures. I already eat raw garlic twice a day and I started to take kelp after reading this blog - But maybe I need more? What exactly is Iodoral? A brand of iodine? Is it safe to take and how much is the right amount. I really need some advice - I am detoxing eating only raw foods - totally clean. I am also drinking an indian tea that is meant to detox metals from your body. I beleive I can trace my mercury expose to when I replaced all my old fillings.
At any rate... I am really intersted to know more about the Iodoral and how it is safely used. Any thoughts?"
09/06/2012: Daniel from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico replies: "If you are reading this then you were probably like me and in need of something that works. I came to this site because I have never experienced anything like this before in my life and really needed something that worked. Because I live in Mexico I went to the pharmacy here and they did not have a clue on what it was but said try some hydrocortisone which did not work. It got worse. I then went to a dermo doctor in San Diego and he immediately knew it was Grovers and prescribed Olux-E which is a foam topical which cost $104. 00 and that was my co-pay! I used it for three weeks with no results in fact it got worse. The Grovers was now on my right forearm, right upper arm. Right calf, left calf, left calf and left upper arm. I did some research of my own and found Terrasil cream and bought it on-line for about $24.00.
I then bought B-Complex and Garlic pills and started with this all at once. The first use was at night and when I woke in the morning I could see improvement. It has been three days now using the Terrasil, B Complez and garlic pills and the Grovers is almost gone! I still itch a little but it won't be long before it's all gone. I don't know what actually helped the most but I am satisfied so I will continue with all three. I grew up in So, California and went to the beach almost every day in the summer so I may have damaged my skin which caused this problem and now I'm 58 and paying for it. I suggest you try this little concoction that I did and I think you'll be relieved from all of this itching and actually see results. GOOD LUCK!"
Replace Metal Fillings
[YEA] 07/14/2011: Buddy from Kingman, Arizona, Usa: "I had Grovers for about 15 years. About two months ago, I had all my metal fillings replaced and my Grovers has cleared-up.
Thanks and good luck.."
Vitamin B Complex
[YEA] 12/01/2007: Lisa from Lawton, OK: "I was diagnosed with eczema many years ago. The Dr. prescribed some medication, but I didn't want to take it because I was pregnant at the time. Tried Vitamin B-Complex after reading about the benefits. I took 1 in the morning and 1 at night and the eczema started to clear up after about 3 weeks. I then started taking just 1 pill a day and if I get lazy and don't take it for several days, I start feeling the "itch" starting. This might help Jordan with the "itchy bumps". I hope so. I'm somewhat of a petite person; I don't know if body weight would affect the amount of B-complex needed to see possible improvement."Replies
12/09/2011: Kerry from Melbourne, Victoria replies: "Hi l am a 56 year old woman and was diagnosed with Grovers 10 years ago, unlike all of the blogs l have it on my upper legs and they are not itchy. I feel l may have been misdiagnosed."
[YEA] 09/30/2012: Peterjk from Hcmc, Vietnam: "Hi, I was diagnosed with Grovers Disease by a dermalogogist in Vienam (USA doctor) he did not explain the implications of the anti-biotics he subscribed to me, the RARE side effects being light sensitivity. This being me I did exhibit! He sunscribed several differant tablets & creams. None of them worked, I bought babies nappy rash talcum powder (Contains ZnO-Zinc Oxide) also read about GARLIC tablets, so bought them.
Within several weeks applying baby nappy rash powder and taking a 1000mg tablet of odourless garlic the rash had gone. I thought this strange so stopped taking tabs and using powder for a few days. GROVERS reappeared! Restarted using the powder and taking the tabs and GROVERS went away again!
I do not know if this will work for all suffers but it did work for me, don't know why it works, Zinc Oxide is good for all basic skin problems but how it works on GROVERS I have no idea!
Both treatments do not cause any harmful effects, the woese that cam happen is you develope an allergy to GARLIC!
It has been 4 months sonce the last signs of this terrible disease and I am glad this treatment worked for me!"