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Granuloma Annulare

What is granuloma annulare?

Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition characterized by small, raised bumps that form a ring with a normal or sunken center. The cause of granuloma annulare is unknown. The condition tends to be seen in otherwise healthy people. Sometimes it is associated with diabetes or thyroid disease. 

What are the symptoms of granuloma annulare?

The following are the most common symptoms of granuloma annulare. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Yellowish or skin-colored bumps

  • One or several rings of bumps on feet, legs, or hands

The symptoms of granuloma annulare may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. You should contact your health care provider if you have a ring anywhere on your skin that lasts more than a few weeks. 

How is granuloma annulare diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnosis is usually confirmed with a skin biopsy (removing a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope).

Treatment for granuloma annulare:

Specific treatment for granuloma annulare will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the condition

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the condition

  • Your opinion or preference

Because granuloma annulare usually causes no symptoms and clears up by itself, you may not need treatment (except for cosmetic reasons). If you do receive treatment, it  may include corticosteroids (cream, tape, or injections). Some physicians use liquid nitrogen to freeze the bumps. Most  granuloma annulare rashes resolve without treatment within two years; however, it is not uncommon to have new rings appear years later.