Granuloma annulare is a skin condition that consists mainly of raised, reddish or skin-colored bumps (lesions) that form ring patterns usually on the hands and feet.
The exact cause of granuloma annulare is unclear. However, in some cases, the condition may be triggered by minor skin injuries or certain medications. Some types of granuloma annulare develop most commonly in adults, while other types may affect only children.
In most cases, granuloma annulare causes no pain or itching, therefore it does not require any treatment. The lesions typically disappear on their own within a couple of years. If the lesions’ appearance is bothersome, prescription medications may help speed up their disappearance.
Symptoms of granuloma annulare may vary relative to the variety:
- Localized: The most common type of granuloma annulare, which most commonly occurs in young adults, especially women. It mostly affects the hands, feet, wrists and ankles causing lesions with a circular or semicircular shape.
- Generalized: This type of granuloma annulare mostly affects adults and causes lesions over a large portion of the body including the trunk, arms and legs. Generalized granuloma annulare is likely to be itchy.
- Subcutaneous: This type of granuloma annulare occurs predominantly in children and it produces a firm lump under the skin rather than a rash.
The exact cause of granuloma annulare is unknown. However, in some cases, the condition may be caused by:
- Animal or insect bites
- Infections, including hepatitis
- Tuberculin skin tests
- Sun exposure
Granuloma annulare that causes a large number of lesions or generalized lesions is sometimes associated with diabetes or thyroid disease.