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Granuloma Annulare - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Granuloma annulare is a long-term skin diseas. It is a very common diseases with characterized harmless rash that forms rings on the surface of the skin. It is seen most often in older children and young adults. Sometimes the diagnosis is not obvious, and other conditions may be considered. In such cases, a small biopsy will help to confirm the diagnosis. Granuloma annulare is a common condition of unknown cause. 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. The papules of granuloma annulare usually occur on the distal extremities and over bony-prominences, but can also arise in a more generalized distribution. The disease is usually characterized by red spots in the initial stages which expand outwards in a ring-like fashion. The hands, especially the fingers, and elbows are commonly affected. When granuloma annulare is widespread it may be associated with underlying diabetes mellitus.

Some types of granuloma annulare have been linked with diabetes but this is very uncommon in the ordinary type. A more severe, widespread form of this condition is called generalized granuloma annulare. In generalized granuloma annulare, rings appear over much of your body, lesions are often smaller and itching is more common. Women are twice as likely to have granuloma annulare as men are. Young adults and children are most at risk. There is some evidence that granuloma annulare is more common in people with diabetes, thyroid disease or HIV. Patients can develop a more widespread rash, but this is rare. In most people with this disorder, granuloma annulare will go away in about 2 years, but this cannot be predicted accurately on an individual basis. In most cases no treatment is required. If treatment is desired, it may be helpful to apply a prescription to the skin or medication can be injected into the bumps themselves. Sometimes it is helpful to apply a strong steroid preparation to the skin or steroids can be injected into the bumps themselves.

Causes of Granuloma annulare

The exect cause of Granuloma annulare is unknown. Granuloma annulare is occasionally associated with diabetes, thyroid disease and HIV infection, but most people with granuloma annulare are otherwise healthy. Women are twice as likely to have granuloma annulare as men are. Granuloma annulare most often affects children and young adults. It is slightly more common in girls.

Common causes and risk factors of Granuloma annulare:

  • Diabetes or thyroid disease.
  • Insect bites.
  • Herpes zoster virus.
  • Viral infections.
  • Some drugs - allopurinol, zalcitabine.
  • Sun exposure.

Signs and Symptoms of Granuloma annulare

Most often granuloma annulare is recognised because of its characteristic apppearance. But sometimes the diagnosis is not obvious, and other conditions may be considered. Patients usually notice a ring of small, firm bumps (papules) over the backs of the forearms, hands or feet. Occasionally, multiple rings may be found. The lesions may disappear and reappear at a later time. The bumps are red, violet, or flesh-colored, and a person may have one ring or several. The bumps usually cause no pain or itching and they most often form on the feet, legs, hands, or fingers of children and adults.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • One or several rings of bumps on feet, legs, or hands.
  • Mild itching.
  • A firm nodule under the skin of the arms or legs.
  • Yellow skin lumps.

Treatment for Granuloma annulare

In most cases no treatment is required. If treatment is desired, it may be helpful to apply a prescription to the skin or medication can be injected into the bumps themselves. Sometimes granuloma annulare responds to topical cortisone preparations. Cortisone injections can also be used to treat granuloma annulare. These are more effective than cortisone creams. Most cases clear up after a few years with or without treatment. Treatment may include prescription steroid creams or ointment. Some physicians may choose to freeze the lesions with liquid nitrogen.

Treatment may include:

  • Some physicians may choose to freeze the lesions with liquid nitrogen.
  • Always massage a cellulite cream thoroughly with your fingertips. It makes them double effective.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy or oral medications are also very effective in some cases of granuloma annulare.
  • The topical steroids cream is very effective or helpful in the disappearance of the lesions.
  • Sometimes granuloma annulare responds to topical cortisone preparations.
  • Cortisone injections can also be used to treat granuloma annulare. These are more effective than cortisone creams.