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Granuloma Annulare

What Is Granuloma Annulare?

Granuloma annulare is a skin condition marked by a rash or bumps that often appear on the hands, arms, feet or legs, but can also form on the trunk. There are five types of granuloma annulare called localized, generalized, subcutaneous, perforating and patch.

Both children and adults can get granuloma annulare. Reactions to skin injuries, certain medications, animal or insect bites, infections, diseases such as HIV or diabetes, skin tests, vaccines, or sun exposure may trigger outbreaks.


Symptoms vary depending on the type of granuloma annulare. They include:

  • Localized – The most common type produces a raised, ring-shaped rash, which can be pink, reddish, violet or skin-colored.

  • Generalized – This type appears as widespread bumps that grow together to form larger pink, red, yellow, violet or flesh-colored patches.

  • Subcutaneous – This round, firm lump or cluster of lumps can be pink, red or skin-colored.

  • Perforating – These small, scaly bumps may itch, be painful or leak fluid. These bumps can be localized or widespread.

  • Patch – This type appears as a red, reddish brown or violet patch or multiple patches.

Treatment Options

In most cases, granuloma annulare is left untreated. It tends to clear on its own after a few months to a few years. Noticeable or bothersome patches may be treated with:

  • Corticosteroids – These can be applied topically or injected into the patches to reduce inflammation and clear skin quickly.

  • Cryotherapy – This destroys patches by freezing the area and stimulating new skin growth.

  • Oral medications – For severe, widespread lesions, your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics, antimalarial pills or immunosuppressant drugs.

  • Light therapy – Controlled exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light or laser treatments may curb cell growth and inflammation.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of granuloma annulare, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat granuloma annulare.