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Quick Facts

Granuloma Annulare


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Jan 2021
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What is granuloma annulare?

"Granuloma" means a small mass of tissue that forms because of inflammation (swelling). "Annulare" means shaped like a ring.

Granuloma annulare is a harmless skin reaction that causes small, firm, raised bumps on the skin. The bumps form a ring with normal or slightly sunken skin at the center of the ring.

  • Granuloma annulare is more common in women

  • You may have a single ring or several rings

  • Granuloma annulare usually heals without treatment

What causes granuloma annulare?

Doctors don't know what causes granuloma annulare. It may be a reaction from your immune system.

What are the symptoms of granuloma annulare?

Symptoms include small, firm, raised bumps that form on your feet, legs, hands, or finger in a ring shape. The bumps can be bluish, yellowish, or skin-colored. They may be tender.

How can doctors tell if I have granuloma annulare?

Doctors can tell you have granuloma annulare by looking at your skin. To know for sure, doctors may do a biopsy (taking a small piece of skin to look at under a microscope).

How do doctors treat granuloma annulare?

Granuloma annulare usually heals without any treatment. If it bothers you, doctors treat it with:

  • Corticosteroid creams or shots

  • Skin cream to treat an immune reaction

  • Light therapy with medicines to make your skin more sensitive to light

  • Other medicines or laser therapy

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