Granuloma Annulare: A Focused Review of Therapeutic Options

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018 Jun;19(3):333-344. doi: 10.1007/s40257-017-0334-5.


Granuloma annulare (GA) is a benign inflammatory disease associated with many conditions such as malignancy, trauma, thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, and HIV infection. Common clinical subtypes include localized GA, generalized GA, subcutaneous GA, perforating GA, and patch GA. There exists an abundance of literature on GA, yet we know relatively little about its exact etiology and even less about its treatment. The paucity of conclusive data on effective treatment options is largely because the majority of published studies are limited to small case reports, case series, and retrospective studies. As such, there does not yet exist a gold standard of care to guide clinical management. Depending on the clinical subtype, the clinical prognosis for GA can vary. The localized variant generally self-resolves within 2 years without treatment, whereas the generalized form is more chronic and less responsive to treatment. This focused up-to-date review serves to summarize the latest therapeutic options available for GA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fumarates / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Granuloma Annulare / diagnosis
  • Granuloma Annulare / epidemiology
  • Granuloma Annulare / etiology
  • Granuloma Annulare / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Skin / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antimalarials
  • Biological Products
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Fumarates
  • Glucocorticoids