Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Wondering about the red blisters on your child’s skin? Has it spread in more than one place? Read on to know all about this common skin disease, including its causes, diagnosis, symptoms and treatment options.

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome definition

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome (GCS) refers to the reaction of the skin to a viral infection that holds up for weeks. GCS is characterized as a popular rash that is typically presented as red skin bumps on cheeks, buttocks and extensor muscles of the legs and forearms.

GCS is known by many names, some of them include:

  • PAC
  • Papular Acrodermatitis of Childhood
  • Crosti-Gianotti Syndrome
  • PAS
  • Acrodermatitis
  • Infantile Lichenoid

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Epidemiology

Being a benign self-limited disorder of your children, GCS is often not reported hence the approximate incidence stays unknown. It mainly occurs in young children aged between 3months and 15 years, however, it peaks in infants aged 1-6 years. Doctors and health care providers confirm that nearly 90% of the patients are less than four years. Both males and females are affected by this disorder in equal frequency.

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Picture 1 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Symptoms

The main clinical presentations of the condition are stated below:

  • Red skin eruption
  • Lenticular eruption
  • Red skin bumps on face
  • Red skin bumps on buttocks
  • Hemorrhagic eruptions
  • Mild fever
  • Enlarge lymph nodes
  • Skin lump
  • Red skin bumps on extremities
  • Underlying viral infection

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Causes

The etiology of this dermatological disorder has often been associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection. GCS mainly manifests during the spring and summer and holds up to four weeks .The common cause of Acrodermatitis around the world is Hepatitis B, where vaccination is not provided. List of other viruses which leads to such rash include:

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Adenovirus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Rubella
  • Parainfluenza
  • Hepatitis A and C
  • Enterovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Human herpes virus-6
  • Parvovirus B10
  • HIV

This self-limiting disorder of the young children has been associated with a number of viral immunizations for:

  • Poliovirus
  • Influenza
  • Pertussis
  • Diphtheria
  • Small pox

Other reported causes of GCS may include:

  • Paravaccinia
  • Echovirus
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare
  • Molluscum contagiosum virus
  • Parvovirus B19
  • Meningococcemia
  • Associated immunizations
  • A16, B4, and B5
  • Bartonella henselae
  • Associated viral infections
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Measles
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • H1N1
  • Associated bacterial infections
  • Group A b-hemolytic streptococci

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Diagnosis

GCS is diagnosed clinically by expert dermatologists. Although skin biopsy may not be of any direct help with this disorder, however, it rules out the possibility of other diseases. Physicians in such medical conditions should have knowledge about any history of immunization of the patient. In case a patient is not immunized against hepatitis B, examination of the liver enzymes is highly recommended.

Image of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Image 2 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Differential Diagnosis

During differential diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of this medical condition must be distinguished from those of other disorders like:

  • Lichen planus
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Scabies
  • Papular urticaria

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Treatment

There is no specific treatment for GCS, and it generally goes away within weeks without giving rise to any complication. However, a physician seeks to find out the root cause and direct the treatment in that direction. To stop itching, Hydrocortisone creams are typically prescribed. The eruptions on the various parts of the body usually go away within four-five weeks after the first eruption.

If Hepatitis B is found out to be the underlying cause of GCS in the child’s body, it can take six months- one year for the liver to heal. A pediatric gastroenterologist should be immediately consulted if symptoms of Hepatitis B are noticed. The recurrence of this benign skin disorder is not likely among children.

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Prognosis

The prognosis of this disorder is very good.  The lesions go away with four-eight weeks. No long-term complications have been reported with this skin disorder.

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome ICD9 code

The ICD9 code of this disorder is 057.8

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Pictures

Pictures of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Picture 3 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Picture of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Photo 4 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

photos of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Image 5 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Images of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

Picture 6 – Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

If your child or your loved one shows any signs of Acrodermatitis, it is crucial to seek medical guidance on an immediate basis. Dermatologists and physicians should be consulted to do away with the itching and dark spots on various parts of the body of the sufferer.


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