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Dermatologic Manifestations of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Medication

  • Author: Kara N Shah, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 16, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce associated symptoms, in particular pruritus. These agents do not appear to shorten the course of the disease or prevent complications.

For mild cases, no treatment is needed. For children who are symptomatic, topical corticosteroids or topical calcineurin inhibits may be considered. Oral antihistamines may also help with pruritus.

Systemic corticosteroids have reportedly been used for more severe cases.



Class Summary

These agents prevent histamine response in sensory nerve endings and blood vessels. They are more effective in preventing histamine response than in reversing it.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Benylin, Diphen, AllerMax)


Diphenhydramine is used for symptomatic relief of allergic symptoms caused by release of histamine. It competes with histamine for H1-receptor sites on effector cells.

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Atarax, Vistaril)


Hydroxyzine hydrochloride offers a mild degree of relief from pruritus. It antagonizes H1 receptors in the periphery. Hydroxyzine hydrochloride may suppress histamine activity in the subcortical region of the CNS.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Kara N Shah, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Dermatology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Medical Director, Pediatric Dermatology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Kara N Shah, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Pediatric Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Van Perry, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Van Perry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors, Albert C Yan, MD, and Paul J Honig, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

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Characteristic erythematous papules of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome appear on the face of this child. The child does not have a toxic appearance.
Characteristic erythematous papules of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome can be seen on the extremities, as is the case in this young child.
A 9-year-old girl who recently returned from a trip to Europe with her family. She developed a low-grade fever, malaise, and some lymphadenopathy. An eruption limited to her face, arms, legs, and buttocks was noted.
A mildly pruritic eruption characterized by erythematous papules localized to the face, arms, legs, and buttocks.
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