Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

What is Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome?

Gianotti-Crosti syndrome (GCS) is a skin disease which generally affects young children. This condition is primarily characterized by symmetrical eruptions on the skin which are thought to be either due to a bacterial or viral infection. Gianotti-Crosti syndrome also goes by the name acudermatitis papulosa infantum and papular acrodermatitis of childhood. This condition was first described in 1955 when an Italian scientist in the person of Gianotti had encountered an infection related to hepatitis that resulted to skin eruptions. Hepatitis infection is not the only cause of Gianotti-Crosti syndrome, for this can also be due other bacteria and viruses. Recently, it has been found that the Epstein-Barr virus is the most common cause of the majority of Gianotti-Crosti cases. This condition does not have a gender predilection. Thus, both males and females are equally affected. However, younger individuals are slightly more predisposed to this condition and commonly affect children between 3 months and 15 years of age. The majority of the children affected are those whose age falls between 1 and 6 years old. Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is self-limited and its prevalence is not highly noted.


The symptoms associated with GCS may manifest following either a bacterial or viral infection. Initially, this condition is characterized by the appearance of symmetrical eruptions on the skin which may be non-pruritic at first but may become itchy on the later part. Other symptoms are also to be expected in Gianotti-Crosti syndrome and these include the following:

  • Appearance of red, bumpy rash which is generally not painful or itchy (the size usually ranges from 1-5 mm)
  • Sore throat
  • Low grade fever
  • Diarrhea

The rashes usually appear following a sore throat, low grade fever and diarrhea. These are self-limiting and may just go away within 2 to 4 weeks but may last up to 4 months or longer. Rashes associated with GCS commonly appear on the cheeks, arms, buttocks and legs. Rarely do these develop on the trunk, elbows, palms, knees and soles.


Though a number of things have been associated with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome, the majority of the GCS cases have unknown causes. Some of the reported cases of GCS are related with the following causative agents:

  • Bartonella henselae
  • β-Hemolytic streptococci
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Cytomegalo virus
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Echovirus
  • Mumps
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Human Herpes virus G
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus
  • Rotavirus


Laboratory workups and imaging studies are not really necessary in Gianotti-Crosti syndrome. Checking for the elevation of liver enzymes may help in the diagnosis but aren’t entirely required as these only determine the possibility of hepatitis and Epstein-Barr virus infection. A skin biopsy may be required to help rule out the possibility of other diseases.


Treatment is really required as this is considered to be a self-limiting condition. However, there may be certain medications that would help minimize the severity of the symptoms and these include the following:

Topical steroids

These medications are primarily used to reduce inflammation. However, these were found out to be not really that effective in dealing with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome

Calamine and Zinc Oxide

These topical medications are helpful in relieving the itchiness which is rarely associated with GCS.


Since antihistamines can be administered via systemic route these are considered to be more effective in managing the symptoms of GCS than topical steroids do.


When GCS is associated with streptococcal infection and other types of infections, antibiotics may be given alongside.


For mild cases of fever, anti-pyretics may be taken. However, for those who have some liver problems, their gastroenterologist must be consulted first.

It is strongly suggested that you consult your pediatrician or better yet, a dermatologist so that you will be discussed the proper things to do in the management of your condition. Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is oftentimes left to heal on its own. The majority of cases usually heal in an average of 15 to 60 days.

Is Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Contagious?

The prevalence of this condition all over the globe is not really remarkable. This occurs sporadically and this is considered to be non-contagious.


The majority of children suffering from Gianotti-Crosti syndrome have a favorable prognosis. They would just eventually recover from the disease without developing any complications. This may vary though as there are instances that some children develop complications especially those with hepatitis infection.


Overall, Gianotti-Crosti syndrome is not an utterly serious condition. This requires little or no follow-up consultation at all. This may only be required whenever there’s an abnormal elevation of certain enzymes in the body especially in cases of hepatitis infection. These are some of the useful information about Gianotti-Crosti syndrome that you should know.

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome Pictures

Picture collection of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome…

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