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Home :: Granuloma Annulare

Granuloma Annulare - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment For 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. Granuloma annulare (GA) is a common condition of unknown cause which affects the skin of children, teenagers or young adults (or any age group, less commonly). Granuloma annulare is a long-term (chronic) skin disease consisting of a rash with reddish bumps arranged in a circle or ring.

Granuloma annulare usually does not itch, and may otherwise go unnoticed. Granuloma annulare can occur on any site of the body and is occasionally quite widespread. It only affects the skin and is considered harmless. Granuloma annulare may cause no symptoms, but affected areas are often tender when knocked.

What does granuloma annulare look like ?

In most patients, patches occur on only one or two sites of the body, often on bony areas such as the backs of the hand, elbows or ankles.Typically, the rings slowly grow to 1 or 2 inches across but become flatter and rather more purple in colour as they do so, and then gradually fade.

Deep granuloma annulare favours scalp margins, finger tips and shins. Nodules under the skin have a rubbery feel. They look rather like rheumatoid nodules but arise in people that do not suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the causes of Granuloma Annulare  ?

The cause is unknown, but granuloma annulare does not damage the general health, and is not infectious or due to allergies. Some types of granuloma annulare have been linked with diabetes but this is very uncommon in the ordinary type. It usually affects children and young adults.

What are the symptoms of granuloma annulare ?

In most cases, granuloma annulare causes no symptoms, or a just mild itch at the start of any new area. It can be tender if knocked. The following are the most common symptoms of granuloma annulare. However, each individual may experience symptoms granuloma annulare differently :-

  • One or several rings of bumps on feet, legs, or hands.
  • Yellowish or skin-colored bumps.
  • Granuloma annulare may appear as a firm nodule under the skin of the arms or legs.

How is granuloma annulare diagnosed ?

Diagnosis is usually confirmed with a skin biopsy (removing a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope).

Treatment For Granuloma Annulare

There is no really effective treatment for Granuloma Annulare. In most cases no treatment is required because the patches disappear by themselves in a few months leaving no trace. However, sometimes they persist for years. Some of the treatment for Granuloma Annulare are :-

  • A special form of ultraviolet light treatment known as PUVA has also been successful in some people with widespread granuloma annulare.
  • Cortisone injections can also be used to treat granuloma annulare. These are more effective than cortisone creams.
  • Injections of steroids directly into the rings may also be effective. Some physicians may choose to freeze the lesions with liquid nitrogen.

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