Curious Skin Disorder Often Misdiagnosed as Ringworm

A professional portrait of a smiling man with glasses, wearing a patterned tie and a gray suit jacket.

Granuloma Annulare (GA) is a curious skin eruption that is often misdiagnosed as “ringworm” (fungal infection) due to its circular shape. It is most common in children but any age group may be affected. For unknown reasons women are more commonly affected than men.

It occurs as clustered pink to flesh colored bumps that may group together forming ring-like raised areas. They are most common on the tops of hands, feet, or wrists but may occur anywhere on the skin. Unlike a fungal infection they are typically firm and non-scaling. They may be small or large, single or multiple, and usually fade spontaneously in months to years. There is no proven cause although in rare cases it may be associated with diabetes if widespread GA is present.

They may be treated with topical or intralesional steroids and usually respond well. Since this is a benign condition no treatment is required but often the cosmetic appearance bothers patients. It can be biopsied to confirm the diagnosis but usually can be identified without need for a biopsy.

-Dr. Madhok


« Go back