Q:

What causes granuloma annulare?

A:

Quick Answer

The exact cause of granuloma annulare, which is a disease characterized by a circular and reddish rash, is not fully determined. The disease may be triggered by insect bites, sun exposure, vaccination, infections and tuberculin skin tests, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Granuloma annulare is a chronic dermatological autoimmune condition. The disease usually affects children and young adults, and the condition occurs slightly more often in females. It has been associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Addison's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Granuloma annulare is sometimes associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and thyroid disease.

The granuloma annulare rash is slightly itchy and may appear on the skin on the hands, the back of the forearms, feet and other parts of the body. There are also several types of granuloma annulare: localized granuloma annulare, generalized granuloma annulare, patch-type granuloma annulare and subcutaneous granuloma annulare.

Since the disease does not usually exhibit any other symptoms apart from the rash, treatment is no longer necessary in most cases. Granuloma annulare usually resolves without treatment in about two years. There are some cases where the rash may stay longer on the skin or may reappear later.

The rash may disappear faster if treated with strong steroid creams and ointments. Other treatment options include direct injections of steroids on the rash, and freezing the bumps with liquid nitrogen.

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