Granuloma Annulare

Learn more about this common -- and usually harmless -- skin condition.

If your doctor says you have granuloma annulare, you might have questions about what that condition is and what the next steps are. That’s why we’re here. Henry Ford Dermatology specialists are ready with the information and treatments you need for granuloma annulare.

What is granuloma annulare?

Granuloma annulare is a harmless skin condition. It’s more common in children and young adults than older people, and it’s twice as common in women than men. Granuloma annulare occasionally is associated with diabetes [Link to Diabetes, page ID 6.118] or thyroid disease [Link to Thyroid Disorders, page ID 6.186], but most people who have it are otherwise healthy.

What does granuloma annulare look like?

Skin lesions -- areas of damaged or abnormal skin -- are common in patients with granuloma annulare. These lesions are raised bumps that can be flesh-colored, red, or purple. They expand or join to form a ring pattern. Granuloma annulare lesions are most common on the:

  • Elbows
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Knees

The skin lesions produce symptoms of only mild itching. They usually go away on their own over several months to a few years. These lesions rarely can spread all over the body. We call this generalized granuloma annulare.

What are my treatment options for granuloma annulare?

The good news is that you may not need any treatment.

Your doctor will work with you to decide if you need treatment. Corticosteroid creams may help the rash go away faster and decrease the itch. Other treatment options include:

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