Granuloma Annulare – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 25 01:13 2019 Print This Article

Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition consisting of raised, reddish or skin-colored bumps (lesions) that form ring patterns, usually on your hands and feet. Granuloma Annulare is a general skin condition which affects the skin of children, teenagers or young adults. It is characterised by the appearance of yellowish lumps on both sides of the body more or less evenly and is formed by skin colored bumps. Some types of granuloma annulare have been linked with diabetes but this is very uncommon in the ordinary type. granuloma annulare will disappear after a few weeks or months without leaving a scar, but it may recur at the same site or somewhere else at a later date. A biopsy and blood tests are usually needed. In very widespread or bothersome cases, potent treatments are tried. These include Trental and Ultraviolet treatment ( PUVA ). Although often successful the GA tends to return eventually after they are discontinued. Other treatments occasionally tried when these fail are Dapsone, potassium Iodide and oral steroids.

Granuloma annulare is a fairly common condition. Groups of small firm bumps appear in the skin, arranged roughly into rings. It appears most often over knuckles and other joints or in places that are subject to frequent, mild injury such as the back of the hands or top of the feet. The bumps often expand or join to form rings. The center of each ring may be a little depressed, pale or light brown. GA usually has no symptoms, but it may be tender. It may come and go, only to return again. Most cases clear up after a few years with or without treatment. The most common form is localized granuloma annulare, which is characterized by the presence of small, firm red or yellow colored bumps (nodules or papules) that appear arranged in a ring on the skin. In most cases, the sizes of the lesions range from one to five centimeters. The most commonly affected sites include the feet, hands, and fingers. In addition to the localized form, there are four less common forms: generalized or disseminated, linear, perforating, and subcutaneous. The lesions associated with granuloma annulare usually disappear without treatment (spontaneous remission). However, the lesions often reappear. The exact cause of granuloma annulare is unknown.

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.

Find common causes and risk factors of Granuloma Annulare:

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Some drugs also may cause granuloma annular as a side effect. Some of the drugs may include – allopurinol, zalcitabine.
  • Pyogenic granuloma.
  • Herpes zoster lesions.
  • Granuloma annular most often affects children and young adults. It is slightly more common in girls.
  • A number of diseases like – trauma, tuberculosis, streptococcal infection and collagen vascular disorder may sometimes lead to formation of granuloma annular.

Signs and Symptoms of Granuloma Annulare

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Mild itching.
  • Reddish or skin-colored bumps (lesions).
  • Nodule under the skin of the arms or legs.

Treatment for Granuloma Annulare

Treatment of granuloma annulare is difficult and, except for the cosmetic aspect, is usually unnecessary. Troublesome patches may improve using steroid creams or ointments, or occasionally steroid injections into the rings. Sometimes it is helpful to apply a strong steroid preparation to the skin or steroids can be injected into the bumps themselves. Small plaques can be frozen (cryotherapy). Topical imiquimod and topical calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus and pimecrolimus) have been reported to help individual cases. Surgical tape saturated with a corticosteroid, or injected corticosteroids may help clear up the rash. People with large affected areas often benefit from treatment that combines phototherapy (exposure to ultraviolet light) with the use of psoralens (drugs that make the skin more sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet light). This treatment is called PUVA (psoralens plus ultraviolet A).

Treatment may include:

  • The topical steroids cream is very effective or helpful in the disappearance of the lesions.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy (PUVA) or oral medications are also very effective in some cases of granuloma annulare.
  • Some physicians may choose to freeze the lesions with liquid nitrogen.
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