Granuloma annulare is a condition characterised by benign lesions on the hands and feet. These lesions can be colourless, and usually form a round ring. Granuloma annulare is not painful, but can cause a mild itching. However, the lesions do cause cosmetic concerns for the patient and can be treated. The healing process is extremely gradual. According to the Mayo Clinic website, granuloma annulare can remain on the skin for up to 2 years without treatment.
There is no known cause of Granuloma annulare. However, diabetes and thyroid disease have been associated with granuloma annulare. If you suffer from granuloma annulare, ask your doctor to test you for both of these conditions.
If you have granuloma annulare as well as diabetes, the granuloma annulare could be a result of your diabetic condition. You should suspect diabetes as a trigger if you experience any of the following symptoms: excessive thirst, unusual weight fluctuation, frequent urination, irritable mood, excessive hunger or sudden changes in vision.
Overactive or underactive thyroid may be a contributing factor for granuloma annulare. If you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, this is most likely contributing to granuloma annulare. Ask your doctor to test your thyroid levels if you experience any of the following symptoms: discomfort around your thyroid gland (located below the Adam's apple), anxiety, unexplained hair loss, sudden weight loss or gain, lethargy, menstrual irregularity or family history of thyroid disorder.
Gender and Granuloma Annulare
Women are twice as likely to experience granuloma annulare as men, as a result of daily hormonal fluctuation. Menopausal women should suspect that a hormonal imbalance is causing the lesions, and discuss hormone replacement therapy with a doctor.
There are two tests to confirm granuloma annulare. Before a diagnosis of granuloma annulare can be confirmed, the doctor must test the lesions to rule out a fungal infection. If a fungus is not causing the lesions, a biopsy will be done to confirm granuloma annulare.
Treatment of Granuloma Annulare
Granuloma annulare is not a dangerous disorder. Treatment is usually done for aesthetic purposes only. The most common prescription for the lesions is corticosteroid cream. If the lesions are exceptionally thick, your doctor may offer corticosteroid injections directly into the lesion. Without treatment, the lesions will heal within 2 months to 2 years.