In most cases, no treatment is necessary for granuloma annulare. Most lesions disappear within a few months, and rarely last more than two years. If the appearance of the rash bothers you, your doctor may recommend:
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- Corticosteroid creams or ointments. Prescription-strength products may help improve the appearance of the lesions and speed their disappearance. Your doctor may direct you to cover the cream with bandages or an adhesive patch, to increase the effectiveness of this treatment.
- Corticosteroid injections. If the skin lesions are thicker and your symptoms are greater, your doctor may inject corticosteroids directly into the lesions to help them disappear faster.
- Freezing the lesions. Applying liquid nitrogen to the affected area can help remove the lesions and stimulate the growth of new skin.
- Light therapy. Exposing the lesions to particular types of light is sometimes helpful. Certain types of laser treatments also work for some people.
- Oral medications. In severe cases, especially when the lesions are widespread, your doctor might prescribe drugs used to prevent immune system reactions in people who have rheumatoid arthritis or who have received an organ transplant.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Brodell R. Granuloma annulare. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Nov. 15, 2012.