Progesterone and Grover's Disease

by Jerry Bearman
(Palm Springs, CA)

I'm an 84 year old male with "Grover's Disease", not in med books, but on the Web. Horrible rash, bumps under skin, clusters, red berry like pimples, puss-like head all over trunk, arms and legs. Constant itch and burn, low degree, that every few hours becomes highly intolerable.

I have tried 4 Dermatologists this past year, prescribed 16 different corticosteroid pills and creams to no avail. I was at a compunding pharmacy. The owner has a reputation for making up formularies, together with vitamins and supplements. He said I was over medicated, stop taking Aciphex (reflux), Proscar and Flomax (Prostate) and that I should see an improvement in a few days. While there, my Grover's began, I was squirming with pain, he took me in the back and applied a large amount of progesterone cream. The pain decreased right away. He followed up with a large amount of zinc oxide.

I thought the progesterone was a pain reliever, like lidopaine. I needed my MD to prescribe 3 containers of the Progester-One, 2 tubes Destin, zinc oxide. He also showed me the water miracle, Kangen Water, see the web. I am a skeptic but will try anything. On 4th day, my first full day of low grade itch and burn. Only one terrible attack. I may become a believer. I had already started with another healer using various supplements, calcium/ magnesium, alkalide, etc. so I don't know which is helping.

Comments for Progesterone and Grover's Disease

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Apr 08, 2009
Progesterone and Grover's Disease
by: Wray

Hi Jerry. Grover's is a particularly unpleasant disease. It mostly occurs in winter, which makes me suspect a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is vital for normal skin development, please try this. The recommended dose is now 10 000 IU's per day. In fact calcipotriol ointment has been used, with significant improvement in the condition. Calcipotriol is a synthetic derivative of calcitriol, a form of Vitamin D. Far better to use a natural source of vitamin D though, creams are available too.

Although retinoids are sometimes used to suppress symptoms, I would avoid these due to the dangers they present, but if you feel vitamin A would help, take this instead. Progesterone does relieve pain, it's an excellent anti-inflammatory as it raises levels of IL10, a natural anti-inflammatory found in the body.

It seems the amount you are using is sufficient if it's helped, too often a low dose is recommended, which does nothing but give progesterone a bad name! Incidentally progesterone has helped many men with prostate problems.

30 plus years later there is still no concensus about the cause of Grover's disease, but it seems that heat and sweating have been ruled out, please see the following paper:

Take care, Wray.

Jul 07, 2009
Pharmacist issue
by: Nobama

Jerry, if your pharmacist really applied a biologically active compound to your skin without a prescription, then he should lose his license for prescribing without a prescription! He either applied a placebo or prescribed without a prescriber's license... either way that is illegal.

Good luck on your condition, but I would suggest reporting that pharmacist to the state board of pharmacy.

Jan 02, 2010
by: Anonymous

Have Grovers. Noted that it has the hallmarks of inflammation... calor (warm to my touch), rubor (pink skin in affected areas), tumor (edema) and dolor (tender, hyperaesthetic skin more than true itching).

So tried NSAIDs... ie naproxen... and find that NSAIDs provide real relief; can't find any ref to such therapy. Any experience with such rx?

Oct 25, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Anonymous

I am a 48 year old female who was diagnosed with Grover's disease. Nothing helped until my last dermatologist (sixth one) suggested Vitamin A, 50,000 IU three times a day for two weeks, and then 50,000 IU a day. For the first time, it is actually getting better.

Oct 28, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi there Please be cautious about using too much vitamin A as it can destroy vitamin D. This is such an essential nutrient and is low in all autoimmune diseases. For more info please see here. Take care, Wray.

Oct 29, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Anonymous

Thanks. Unfortunately, I do have low Vitamin D too, and am on 6000 mg. a day. It's hell getting old!!

Oct 31, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi there Yes it can be! I don't believe the 6000iu's is high enough if you have Grover's and a low vitamin D level. It would be better to take 10,000iu's per day or more. Particularly if your doctor has you on such high vitamin A doses. Try to get your level of vitamin D up to a minimum of 50ng/ml, better still if it's in the 80-100ng/ml. Take care Wray

Nov 01, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Anonymous

You don't think the 6,000 IU of Vitamin D is enough?? Or were you thinking I meant Vitamin A?

I'm on 6,000 IU Vitamin D and 50,000 IU Vitamin A.
Do you think I need to increase the Vitamin D??

Nov 03, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi there I did mean vitamin D, I said in a previous comment I thought you should be on 10,000iu's per day. I'm really concerned you are on such a high dose of vitamin A, please read that info I gave you. It's toxic in high amounts, and it destroys vitamin D, so the 6000iu's/day you are taking is being destroyed. Your level will probably not increase. Take care Wray

Nov 06, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray:
Thanks for the info. I'll be going back to my doc in the next two weeks, and I'll be sure and talk to him about the Vitamin D. I didn't know A destroyed it!! Guess I can't win. I'm not sure how long I'm supposed to take the 50,000 units of A either, but I have to admit, it is getting rid of the rash.
Thanks again!

Nov 10, 2010
Grovers - Vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi there Please give your doctor the info I gave you from Dr Cannell, about the antagonism between vitamin A and D. If he feels you need vitamin A, then please take beta carotene instead. This is found naturally in all orange coloured fruits and veggies and is safe in high doses. The IU is normally used to measure vitamin A, but it's difficult to calculate activity in the diet, so the RE (retinol equivalent) was developed. 1 RE equals about 10IU of vitamin A from beta carotene. I would be interested to hear if the vitamin D gets rid of the rash, without the A! I make up a vitamin D cream and have found it wonderful for the skin. Take care Wray

Oct 08, 2012
Kangen Water
by: Ian Faulkner (Sydney AU)

Jerry. I have a friend whose father has Grover's disease. I noted that you were trying Kangen Water and after 4 days felt some relief. Can you expand on your experience.

Oct 08, 2016
I was diagnosed Grovers
by: Hedy

Guys! WATER! After a biopsy I was diagnosed with Grovers. I tried everything. And then somewhere I heard about hidration. So I started with moisturizers and then continued with drinking water. YES. Now, if a papule pops utp I go Geez not enough?" and grab a glass of water.. or three, basically until it is gone. Give it a few days of hidration at first and then 15 or 20 minutes. Different meals and pills may raise the usual demand for water.

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