Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Granuloma Annulare Harmless

Friday, 01 Apr 2011 03:16 PM

Question: Is there any new treatment to help cure granuloma annulare?

Dr. Hibberd’s Answer:

Granuloma annulare is a benign skin eruption for which there are relieving agents but no definitive cure yet. Treatment is for aesthetic purposes only.

Granuloma annulare forms a well-circumscribed ring with slightly raised red bumps in an oval or circular shape, usually over the backs of forearms, hands, and feet. It is usually localized and uncommonly may spread and involve multiple areas of the body. It may be slightly itchy and is often initially mistaken as a fungal infection.

It is more common in children and young adults, and seems to be more prevalent among females.

This condition has yet to have a cause attached to it, though it probably has an immune/allergy/sensitivity basis. Though occasionally associated with diabetes or thyroid disease, it usually is not a sign of future health problems in the majority of cases.

In many cases it seems to improve with the application of topical cortisone. The rare, more extensive cases may require oral therapy or ultraviolet light treatment.

Reports of off-label use of a topical immune response stimulator called imiquimod (sold as 5 percent Aldara Cream) have been encouraging. Unfortunately, Aldara is expensive and not for use in children. But this line of treatment may show promise for selected cases under dermatologist supervision when other simpler and more conventional treatments have not been effective.

This red ring condition will clear by itself without treatment given enough time, but this may take up to two years, and recurrences though uncommon may be seen.

© HealthDay

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