Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD Patient Handout


About Your Diagnosis

Granuloma annulare is a relatively uncommon skin disease. The cause is not known and it is not contagious. It is seen more commonly in children and young adults. It usually resolves on its own but recurrences are common. Treatment with medicationsapplied to the skin may help speed up healing. Diagnosis is usually made by a doctor’s visual inspection of the skin, and a minor skin biopsy is sometimes used to confirm the diagnosis. Although granuloma annulare tends to recur, it is not cancerous or life threatening.

Living With Your Diagnosis
Granuloma annulare may start as a small, red bump and develop into a ring of bumps or even multiple bumps. The bumps are red to tan, and the bump rings can grow up to a few inches but are usually smaller. Some bumps may go away within a few months, whereas others may persist for years. They usually occur on the arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Treatment is usually not necessary. Steroid creams applied to skin may be prescribed. Apply a small amount of cream or lotion to the affected area and cover with Saran Wrap for 8 hours. It is best to do this just before bedtime and remove the Saran Wrap in the morning. For severe or extensive cases of granuloma annulare, medications by mouth may be prescribed. If given prescription medications, follow your doctor’s directions.
The DOs
• Be patient. Granuloma annulare is not life threatening.
• Most cases eventually improve within years.
• Diet and exercise do not affect the condition.

The DON’Ts
• Patients with this disorder have no restrictions.

When to Call Your Doctor
• If itching or scaling occur.
• Any signs of infection occur such as fever, swelling, or pus drainage.