Gianotti Crosti syndrome (GCS) is a rare childhood skin condition characterized by a papular rash with blisters on the skin of the legs, buttocks, and arms.
Age of onset
It typically affects children between 9 months and 9 years of age.
Signs and symptoms
- Skin lesions typically last at least 10 days and often last for several weeks.
- The lesions are usually preceded by an underlying infection (usually a virus), which may cause associated symptoms such as low-grade fever, sore throat, or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
- When GCS is associated with hepatitis B, Epstein-Barr, or cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, acute hepatitis may also occur.
- GCS is thought to be a hypersensitive response to the underlying infection.
- While in many countries the underlying cause is hepatitis B, this is rarely the cause in North America.
- In Italian children, Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is seen frequently with hepatitis B. But this link is rarely seen in the United States.
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, mononucleosis) is the virus most often associated with acrodermatitis.
- Gianotti Crosti syndrome (GCS) is thought to be due to a hypersensitive response to a previous infection.
- The underlying infection tends to correlate with the infectious agent endemic to a specific geographic region.
- For example, in Japan and Mediterranean countries, GCS is more commonly associated with hepatitis B virus infection.
- Since there is more universal use of hepatitis B immunization, Epstein-Barr virus is now the most common associated infection worldwide.
- GCS may also occur after coxsackievirus, infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, enterovirus infections, ECHO viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, or after vaccination with a live virus serum.
- In most cases, no laboratory tests are needed when a person is diagnosed with GCS.
- GCS typically does not require treatment and goes away on its own within 1 to 3 months.
- In some cases, a mild topical steroid cream may be prescribed to relieve itching.
- Infections linked with this condition, such as hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr, are treated.
- Cortisone creams and oral antihistamines may help with itching and irritation.
The rash usually disappears on its own in about 3 to 8 weeks without treatment or complication. Associated conditions must be watched carefully.
Complications occur as a result of associated conditions, rather than as a result of the rash.
- Papular acrodermatitis of childhood;
- Infantile acrodermatitis;
- Acrodermatitis - infantile lichenoid;
- Acrodermatitis - papular infantile;
- Papulovesicular acro-located syndrome