It has been 9 years since Grover’s first appeared on me. I thought that I had finally conquered it in 2019. However, another episode began last week. Apparently this will be continuing through the rest of my life. It looks like the best that I will be able to do is to control it each time it reappears.
According to my dermatologist, this is something that commonly affects some white men over the age of 60. It can be somewhat controlled, sometimes may disappear, but it commonly reoccurs. There is no known cause nor cure. Since it is not life-threatening, and affects a small minority of the population, there is very little money being spent on this disease.
Grover’s sores appear as red spots and can become very itchy. There can be a lot of variation to this throughout the day. Sometimes it itches, sometimes only the rash is visible with no itching.
Having had intermittent experiences with this condition for the last 9 years, I have gotten pretty good at controlling the symptoms. The red spots do not bother me, only the itching. When the itching gets intense, I take a very hot shower – as hot as possible – without scalding the skin. The hot water helps makes the itching to go away for a few hours, at least providing 4-6 hours of relief. Near the completion of the shower, I do a second step — I pour a little seaweed powder on the rash and rub it liberally over the area with the rash. It will get a little pasty from the water already on the skin. The salt content in this powder will sting the sores a little. But that is a good – it feels good. After a couple of minutes, rinse off the seaweed with hot water. This again will also sting a little.
At this point if there is any residual itching, it seems to go away for most of the day. Should the itching return at night, I just repeat another hot shower, using the seaweed again at the end of the shower. In just this first week, I have noticed a reduction in the number of red sores. They seem to dry up and harden into little scabs and fall off after a few days. With patience, it has been my experience that the Grover’s disappears, and goes back into remission. How long it stays away seems to be a matter of luck. So far, the longest period of remission has been approx. 2-3 years. As long as I have no itching, I can live with the occasional red spots reappearing.
See the history and photos of my journey from 2012-2021:
Another method to handle this is to go diving. The high salt content in the seawater seems to have a similar effect. Perhaps it may also be the distraction of looking at all the beautiful sea life like this Nudibranch below that also helps takes my mind off of Grover’s rash. Either way, it works.