Granuloma annulare is a harmless rash that forms rings on the surface of the skin. It usually does not itch, and may otherwise go unnoticed.

granuloma annulare on the legs

It is a chronic condition that typically goes away even without any treatment in a couple of years. Since it does not pose any health risks, treatment is not mandatory but some people choose to do so for cosmetic reasons.

What causes granuloma annulare to occur?

The exact cause of this skin condition is not known at this time. It is more common in women than in men, and typically affects children and young adults.

Usually people who experience granuloma annulare are otherwise healthy individuals, although it is sometimes associated with diabetes.

Are there treatment options?

Your doctor will first determine if in fact this is the problem with a visual examination followed by several tests and perhaps a biopsy. There are various related skin conditions so those may have to be ruled out before starting treatment.

Treatment of granuloma annulare is difficult and as we mentioned above, except for the cosmetic aspect, is usually unnecessary as it does not pose any potential problems on its own.

Sometimes the rash responds to topical cortisone preparations, but something stronger may be necessary.

Cortisone injections can also be used to treat the condition. These are usually more effective than the creams as they are highly concentrated.

If you have a very extreme condition, like the one in the picture above, you may benefit from light therapy, which can be very helpful.

Again, there is no need to be alarmed if you notice this condition developing, even if it seems to cover a large area of your body. It is definitely treatable and will likely disappear over time.

Talk to your doctor to determine if treatment is advised and the best course of action to minimize its appearance if you choose to do so.