What is Granuloma Annulare?
According to Wikipedia:
"Granuloma annulare is a fairly rare, chronic dermatological autoimmune condition which presents itself as reddish bumps on the skin arranged in a circle or ring. The rings are caused by an autoimmune reaction that causes over-productive leukocytes, an overabundant production of white blood cells.
These WBC' s do not flow freely through the blood but instead clump together and can not effectively move through thin capillaries, rising to just underneath the surface of the patient's skin, resulting in the characteristic rings. It can initially occur at any age and is significantly more common in females (80/20 ratio)."
Have you or someone you know have Granuloma Annulare?
Types of Granuloma Annulare
There are different types, such as;
- Localized granuloma annulare
- Generalized granuloma annulare
- Patch-type granuloma annulare
- Subcutaneous granuloma annulare
- Perforating granuloma annulare
- Granuloma annulare in HIV disease
Well as my doctor explained it to me, they are benign tumors (accumulation of white blood cells) underneath the skin. Most likely because I have an immune disorder, these little bumps are just a collection of WBC. In fancy terms;
"Granuloma annulare, microscopically, consists of dermal epithelioid histiocytes around a central zone of mucin - a so-called palisaded granuloma. The main histomorphologic differential diagnosis is necrobiosis lipoidica/necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, which typically has plasma cells."
Yeah, as simple as that.
Prognosis and treatment
In most cases, these lesions will subside in months or in older patients (60's) two years, I got mine when I was 32. As you can appreciate in the pictures, six years later they are still there which is inconvenience for my self esteem. Just because people think is ringworm!
There is no known real way to get rid of them but to wait. Since I have an over production of said white blood cells due to my lupus and MS is unlikely that they'll go away. According to doctors, it may get worst in time. For those that insist in treatment there are a couple of topical cortico steroids that may or may not alleviate the accumulation of WBC in the skin.
Let a doctor tell you about it...
The real problem with Granuloma Annulare...
To be honest, these lesions don't hurt, they don't itch either. The main set back is the psychological implications of having the nodules in visible places. Is easy for people to mistake this condition to Dermatophytosis or ringworm, which is a fungal infection ,and ironically is curable.
The difference lies in the presentation. Ringworm has a scab in the lesion and Granuloma Annulare doesn't. Since this is a "rare" condition, few people know about it. Even my sister, that studied Nursing (like me) thought it was ringworm. I felt embarrassed. They are like scars that people are afraid of.
Granuloma Annulare in a nutshell
- IS NOT RINGWORM or any other fungi
- Is linked to auto immune conditions
- Is not contagious or symptomatic
- It does not itch or form a scab
- There is no guaranteed treatment
- In most cases it will go away in two years
- It only affects "primarily" the self esteem ( they look awful)
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