I have been fighting Grover’s Disease on and off since 2012. This is starting to get old … and so am I.
Follow the links below to see some of the my history of dealing with this skin rash:
Grover’s is a rash made up of red spots that can become extremely itchy at times. There is no known cause, no known cure and aside from some prescription drugs and OTC meds like cortisone that don’t work, there is no treatment. There is not much known about it because it is a rare disease and not life-threatening. Therefore not much or really any $$ is being thrown towards research. Typically, it appears in Caucasian men over 60, though it can also affect some women too.
If you click on some of the above links, you will see photos of previous eruptions. In a world filled with COVID and other serious diseases, Grover’s is really not something to become alarmed about. It can’t kill you. But during the weeks or months during an outbreak, the itchy rash can be very very uncomfortable. During these last 12 years, I have Grover’s reoccur around 4 or 5 times. If you are lucky, you may only get one occurrence and then it disappears for good. I wasn’t that lucky. However, it hasn’t been that bad. In my case, it may last for a few months and then go away for 2 or 3 years before returning.
The photo below was taken on 1/5/24. The many red spots below the collarbone are the rash. (There is a little residual of green specs which is the seaweed powder that did not wash off completely from the shower.)
The photo below shows the application of seaweed powder to the rash directly onto the spots. I have learned to do this as the last step in my shower. After washing with soap and rinsing, I then raise the water temperature to as high as I can tolerate it, without scalding the skin, and then apply the seaweed powder to the wet skin. I rub it in, allowing it to form a powdery paste and let it sit for approx. 5 minutes. Longer is better, if you have the time. The seaweed will sting the rash because all of the red spots are open sores. Probably it is the high salt content in the seaweed that occurs from freeze-drying the seaweed along with its seawater content, that causes the the sting. However, for me the stinging really feels good. When you wash off the paste after 5 minutes, the stinging will stop, and hopefully the itching.
My dermatologist believes that applying hot water to the skin alone also helps the itching because high heat can temporarily control the skin’s histamine production. Hot water alone has been a temporary remedy that I have used for mosquito bites during dive trips in the tropics. In combination with the seaweed, I can usually expect between 4-8 hours of relief, enough for a night’s sleep. Given my past experience with this rash, I expect to be fighting this rash for the next few months. Hopefully it goes away … for good. However, at this point, I don’t expect that to happen.
During my early episodes with this rash, 12 years ago, not only did I try skin creams prescribed and some not prescribed by my doctor, I also experimented with Chinese herbal medicine, topically and orally. Nothing worked. The Chinese herbs smelled horribly. I eventually ended up trying the seaweed. I am not stating that this is a treatment or a cure, since Grover’s is an actual disease. However, the hot water and seaweed have helped me get through the day (and night) while I wait for this most recent episode to end.