Granuloma annulare (gran-u-LOW-muh an-u-LAR-e) is a skin condition that most commonly consists of raised, reddish or skin-colored bumps (lesions) that form ring patterns — usually on your hands and feet.
No one knows exactly what causes granuloma annulare. But it may be triggered by minor skin injuries and certain medications. Some types of granuloma annulare affect adults, and others typically affect children.
In most cases, granuloma annulare isn't itchy or painful, so no treatment is necessary. The lesions usually disappear on their own within two years. If you're bothered by how your skin looks, your doctor can prescribe medications that will speed the disappearance of the lesions.
The signs and symptoms of granuloma annulare can vary, depending on the variety:
- Localized. This is the most common type of granuloma annulare. The bump (lesion) borders have a circular or semicircular shape, with a diameter up to 2 inches (5 centimeters). It occurs most commonly on the hands, feet, wrists and ankles of young adults.
- Generalized. Up to 15 percent of the people who have granuloma annulare have lesions over a large portion of their bodies — including the trunk, arms and legs. This type is more likely to be itchy and to affect adults.
- Under the skin. A type that usually affects young children is called subcutaneous granuloma annulare. It produces firm, usually painless, lumps under the skin instead of a rash. The lumps are usually less than 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) in diameter and appear on the hands, shins and scalp.
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if your skin develops reddish bumps (lesions) in ring patterns that don't go away within a few weeks.
No one knows exactly what causes granuloma annulare. But in some people, the condition may be triggered by:
- Animal or insect bites
- Infections, including hepatitis
- Tuberculin skin tests
- Sun exposure
- Other minor injury to the skin
Granuloma annulare is not contagious.
Granuloma annulare is occasionally associated with diabetes or thyroid disease, most often when lesions are numerous or widespread.
Aug. 18, 2017
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