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What is Grover's disease?

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Grover's disease is a rare skin disorder that usually causes a temporary outbreak of small red lesions, states the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The breakouts most often affect the arms, chest and limbs and cause blistering and intense itching. Although women can develop Grover's disease, the condition primarily occurs in men over age 40.

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Lesions caused by Grover’s disease are typically firm, raised bumps that grow in clusters, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. When blisters form, they often contain watery fluid and appear as swollen, red-rimmed bumps near hair follicles. The underlying cause of Grover’s disease is unknown, but doctors have linked the condition to heat- and sun-related skin trauma. The condition hinders cells in the horny layer of skin from forming strong membranes between one another, resulting in the separation of the cells.

Most cases of Grover's disease last six to 12 months after diagnosis, but the condition can persist even longer, states the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. The cellular “breakdown” that occurs due to Grover’s disease has a distinct appearance under a microscopic, so a physician may recommend a biopsy to diagnosis the condition. The biopsy involves using a surgical tool, known as a curette, to shave off a small piece of surface skin for examination. Topical cortisone is sufficient to treat most minor cases, but doctors may suggest cortisone injections, antifungal pills or phototherapy to manage a serious outbreak.

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