Granuloma annulare

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.

The cause of granuloma annulare is unknown. In some people, the condition might be triggered by minor skin injuries or certain types of medications. Some types of granuloma annulare occur most commonly in adults, while other varieties 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 are bothered by how the lesions look, your doctor can prescribe medications that will speed their disappearance.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors

The signs and symptoms of granuloma annulare can vary, depending on the variety:

  • Localized. This is the most common type of granuloma annulare. The 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, particularly women.
  • 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 variety is more likely to be itchy and most often affects adults.
  • Subcutaneous. Occurring predominantly in young children, this type of granuloma annulare produces a firm lump under the skin instead of a rash. The lump is usually less than 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in diameter.

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.

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