I have had Grover's for 8 - 9 years, am scared of Accutane, don't seem to get results w/ the steroid creams (wouldn't want to use them long-term anyway).
Am not satisfied, have I mentioned that I am obsessed? Seriously though, I like everything just so, and these little spots don't fit into my plan, you know what I mean? My husband thinks I am nuts and reminds me how much worse it used to be. My friends say it is hardly noticeable. Then again, the last couple of months I've been under tough work stress, and my skin's been bad, not as bad as before, but bad enough to itch constantly and hurt sometimes. That bugs me - not knowing when it's going to act up again. A nurse who has treated other Grover's patients with CO2 laser told me that compared to the other 50 or so people that she's treated, my lesions are much smaller, "I have to hunt for them" but there are many more of them. By the way, CO2 didn't work for me.
The topicals for AKs and skin cancers cause the skin to flare - I think it is the way that they treat the AKs - everything gets really inflammed and then when it heals, you hope the skin is clear. What I did with Solaraze first was treat my whole trunk as though it was AKs - so twice a day for 20 days I applied it. The skin started getting a cottage cheese type look to it. I stopped - was currently going to a derm who wanted to try pills instead - and when my skin went back to normal, the rash was actually gone for a short time. Came back, but as I mentioned, it was different and better.
I've played w/ some other stuff since then, and recently just took Kit's advice to try the Solaraze 3 x per week mixed w/ lotion. She knows another Grover's person whose derm suggested that treatment. This month my skin has been ok, and I'm still under tremendous work pressure (which will end soon). Too much Solaraze causes its own rash, I am using this as a topical anti-inflammatory, which by the way is how diclofenac is generally used and what my pharmacist originally suggested almost a year ago.
Kit had amazing results w/ Solaraze, but she also had some scary side effects. The Efudex works great for her - she puts on a tiny amout elsewhere, and it seems to work systemically to clear her. So far, the Solaraze has been pretty benign for me as far as I can tell. Actually see doc on Mon, I wonder what he'll think of what I've been doing?
But I don't want to make the picture too rosy - if I were satisfied, I probably wouldn't be cruising this website, right?
I am curious to try these drugs, Solaraze, Efudex, Carac, Aldara - not sure which - they are all AK or skin cancer treatments - but try them in the way that they were intended for the AKs or skin cancer. For example, the Solaraze treatment for AKs is 2 x per day for 2 - 3 months. Aldara is 3 x per week for some # of weeks, not sure how many. Would that kill the Grover's cells? One derm said that was ridiculous. Another very well regarded derm was quite interested in the idea. He actually wrote letters to a couple of companies to see if there was safety information about using the drugs over such a large area. But he watched my skin for a couple of months and declared that it wasn't that bad.
We're just going into summer, and I don't want to deal with the inflammation, so I am postponing further experiments until Oct. Until then I will continue w/ Solaraze 3 x per week and Retin-A 2 out of 3 nights (my skin can't take it every night). But in Oct I will try something, maybe even spot treating with a couple different ones to see if any work. Not sure.