How my Granuloma Annulare Cleared Up

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How to Naturally Stop Granuloma Annulare

Three Parts:

Granuloma annulare (GA) is a skin condition or type of rash that usually consists of small, reddish or skin-colored bumps that generally form a circular or ring pattern. It can occur in both children and adults, though not in infants. Most often, GA affects the skin on the hands and feet and can become chronic for some patients. It is not usually itchy or painful, but it can be disfiguring and disturbing to many.If you follow a few simple steps, you can figure out how to recognize and diagnose GA as well as how to treat it naturally.


Using Natural Topical Remedies

  1. Take NSAIDs with vitamin E.One small study found some success with using the NSAID drug zileuton along with oral Vitamin E.In other studies, vitamin E was applied directly to the skin with some success as well.
    • Apply 400IU of vitamin E, which is typically 1 caplet. Take a liquid vitamin E caplet, snip off one end, and squeeze the liquid onto the rash. Massage it in gently and reapply daily.
  2. Use herb massage oils.There are a number of herbs that work in a way that is similar to NSAIDs because they block the same set of enzymes and can reduce inflammation. These herbs have been safely recommended for topical use.You can mix certain anti-inflammatory herbs with oils to make a rub that you can massage into the rash twice a day for 4 weeks. These herbs include turmeric, scutellaria or skullcap, ginger, boswellia, and white willow bark.
    • To make a paste for your skin, take 4 teaspoons of the dried and powdered herb and mix with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Make more if larger areas of your body are affected. Store in a dark jar in a cool place.
    • Always check with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner before using any of these recommendations. It is always best to ensure that nothing interacts with your treatment plan.
    • Turmeric can turn your skin a bit orange, but is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory herbs known.
  3. Make an avocado paste.Avocado is a rich source of vitamin E. This is likely the reason of the reported success of the avocado paste. To make the paste, mash an avocado and mix with enough olive oil to make a paste. Apply it gently to the affected skin.
    • Leave it on for 30-40 minutes, then rinse the area clean. Repeat daily.
  4. Rub aloe vera on the affected area.The aloe vera plant contains a natural gel that has a soothing effect and can reduce the itch and pain that comes with GA. The gel has the ability to reach deeper skin layers, directly easing the inflammation and enhancing the healing of skin wounds that arise from GA rashes and bumps.
    • If you have a whole plant, cut it down the center with a knife to get the gel out, then apply it directly on your rash. Keep the rest of the plant in the fridge to be used later.
    • The gel that comes from your local pharmacy can be used as well. Just slather it on the area generously and let it soak into your skin.
  5. Try coconut oil.Coconut oil can be applied to the skin affected by GA or it can be taken orally. A typical oral dose of coconut oil is 1 Tbsp three times daily.
    • Coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties. This makes it a good option for conditions such as GA which have an unclear cause.
  6. Make additional topical balms.There are a few other topical treatments that have been seen to have positive results with GA. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 4 drops of tea tree oil. Use a cotton ball or cloth to apply daily. You can also crush a clove of garlic and apply it to the affected area.
    • Keep the garlic on the affected area for 30 minutes, then rinse off. You can re-apply once a day. This works best on small areas of the skin.
    • If after 4 weeks of using these treatments, there is no change in your GA, see your physician again to determine of more treatment is recommended.

Adding Herbs and Spices to Your Diet

  1. Add ginger to your routine.Just like its topical use, ginger can be ingested to help with your GA as well. Ginger has a strong anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial effects. Try adding it to your meals by eating the root raw, adding it into recipes, or using the ginger powder in rubs and marinades.
    • You can also drink it in your tea or with your milk by adding as much as you think is necessary to get a pleasant taste.
  2. Ingest turmeric daily.Just as with ginger, turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It contains curcumin as one of its active ingredients, which is considered one of the strongest antioxidant and detoxifying substances there is. It can reduce the rash and itchiness sensation as well as preventing bacterial infections as well.
    • Turmeric powder can be drank in warm teas like ginger. It can also be added like any spice to zest up your meals.
    • Curmurin blocks the COX-II enzyme responsible for releasing prostaglandin, which is an inflammatory chemical, making turmeric a triple threat because it is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial spice.
  3. Take boswellia serrata daily.Boswellia serrata is made from the gum of the Indian olibanum tree. It is a very good anti-inflammatory drug and helps limit the production of leukotrienes that are found in leukocytes, which are unsaturated fatty acids that are released during allergic reactions. The standard extract dosage is 2-8 grams of resin per day.
    • Stop taking boswellia after 8 to 12 weeks. The safety of taking the herb internally for longer periods is currently unknown.
    • Boswellia topical cream can also be used for treatment of GA.
  4. Think about green tea.Green tea has been linked to healing properties when consumed on a regular basis. Try drinking green tea at least twice a day daily. Afterwards, use the filters containing the green tea leaves as compresses for your skin. Also consider taking a green tea supplement in tablet form.
    • The direct application of green tea to the bumps can sooth them and reduce the burning sensation. This effect happens due to green tea's flavonoids called catechins. They are antioxidants that detoxify any harmful substances, including toxins and free radicals, that can trigger or spread your skin rash. Green tea also is reported to have anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the irritation of the itchy spots.
  5. Apply grated rheum rhabarbarum to the area.Rheum rhabarbarum contains beta-carotene, which helps fight infection and promote healing. Beta-carotene also helps in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Because the skin symptoms of these diseases are similar, it is thought that it may help in GA as well.
    • You may apply grated rheum as a poultice on the rash for 15 minutes and then wash it off. You may do this 2-3 times a week for as long as needed.
  6. Make a yarrow powder paste.Yarrow powder is also a very good drug for blood purification. It also has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.The application of yarrow powder as a paste to the lesions should be helpful. Mix the powder with enough water to make it a paste. Leave it on the area for 15 minutes or so and wash off with a mild soap and water.
    • A 4.5 g dose of yarrow herb can be taken daily. However, there are not many clinical studies to validate this dose.
  7. Try spirulina.Spirulina is a good immunomodulator and is used as a common supplement to skin related symptoms. This is because it is packed with vitamins, amino acids, and chlorophyll. Due to these properties, this natural algae might help in curtailing the autoimmune reaction that produces GA.
    • A typical daily dose of spirulina is 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams, usually consumed in four to six portions of 500 milligrams each. The effects of spirulina can be seen even in weak doses, which are around 800 mg.
    • It can be taken with a glass of water or along with fruit or vegetable juice. Do not use spirulina for more than 3 weeks consecutively.
    • If you see no results or changes after 4 weeks of using these treatments, consult your doctor again to see if more treatment is recommended.

Understanding Granuloma Annulare

  1. Recognize different forms of GA.There are three main forms of GA that you may suffer from. The most common form is localized granuloma annulare. It is characterized by skin-colored or reddish lesions up to 2 inches or 5 cm in diameter. The bumps may form rings or may be solitary. Localized GA tends to be found on the feet, the ankles, the lower limbs, and the wrists.
    • Other form of the condition is called generalized GA, which occurs most commonly in adults. It usually involves the torso, but the rings or bumps can be found on the neck, extremities, face, scalp, palms, and soles of the feet. The rash can include widespread bumps, ring-shaped rashes, and large areas of discolored skin. The rashes usually range in color from a yellowish tone to a reddish color.
    • You may also need to treat subcutaneous GA, which is the form that occurs most commonly in children 2-10 years old. With this form of GA, firm bumps or masses are felt deep in the skin. Individual bumps or masses can measure from very small to up to 1.5 inches in diameter and are most common on the knees, ankles, tops of the feet, buttocks, hands, scalp, and eyelids.
    • There are two rare forms of GA. Perforating GA is a very rare form that is usually found on the back of the hands and fingers, may be found on the trunk or the arms and legs, and can often form scars. Accurate dermal erythema is another rare form of GA that can form large rings with a central clear area.
  2. Learn the risks and triggers.There are certain groups of people the GA attacks more often. Women are affected twice as often as men, though researchers are not sure why. Children and those under the age of 30 are more commonly affected than those who are older in age. The cause of any form of GA is unknown. However, some things can trigger the condition, such as the development of various infections, getting bites from either animals or insects, taking PPD skin tests for tuberculosis, receiving vaccinations, and exposing yourself to the sun.
    • The underlying mechanism in GA is thought to be immune in nature.
  3. Diagnosis GA.Typically, the doctor will use a visual examination to diagnosis GA. There are some cases, however, where a small sample of skin may be taken as a biopsy for microscopic examination.
    • There is evidence that the reaction which causes the rash is based on a delayed hypersensitivity reaction involving specialized immune cells.
    • Because of the shape of the rash, GA can sometimes be confused with ringworm. However, your doctor will do a simple lab test and visual inspection to distinguish between the two conditions.
  4. Try non-natural treatment.Most often, GA disappears on its own within 2 years, though it usually disappears within 3-4 months. In some cases, however, other treatments may be recommended. These include topical or injected steroids at the site of the rash, and various medicines such as dapsone, retinoids, antimalarial drugs, tacrolimus, and pimecrolimus.
    • Cryotherapy, which is a treatment where the skin is frozen with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide, is sometimes suggested.
  5. Consider hydroxyurea.Some cases of long-term GA (lasting over 10 years) were cured by exposure to 500 mg of hydroxyurea twice per day for several months. Hydroxyurea is a chemotherapeutic agent that suppresses immune cells. It should be used only under a doctor’s close supervision so that she can ensure that the therapy does not overly affect bone marrow growth.
  6. Ask about phototherapy.This is a fairly new treatment option, but there is evidence to suggest that GA can be improved by exposing areas of skin affected by GA to narrow-band UVB light (light rays that are between 280-325 nanometers and which cause sunburn but not deeper skin damage).
    • A similar light-based treatment is low-level laser therapy with different colored laser beams. The color of the laser beam determines the depth of skin penetration, which can help target the specific area of skin that is affected by the GA.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is extreme itching caused by granuloma annulare?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I have had GA on my neck for years. The bumps form rings that spread and overlap, and if I do not treat them, the area will get itchy within a few weeks. Because of constant scratching, the area feels thin, crackly, and sore. So yes, GA can cause extreme itchiness -- the bumps erupt and peel, but do not heal up.
  • Question
    How do I stop my granuloma annulare from burning?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try rubbing coconut oil on it twice daily and after a bath. Most itchy skin conditions settle down or go away by using coconut oil.
Unanswered Questions
  • Have you heard of GA affecting lips, causing them to itch so bad?
  • Can a child gets rid of GA?
  • Can using a massage pillow with heat help?
  • When does the granuloma annulare stop spreading?
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Sources and Citations

  1. Smith, K. J., Norwood, C., & Skelton, H. (2002). Treatment of disseminated granuloma annulare with a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor and vitamin E. The British Journal Of Dermatology, 146(4), 667-670.
  2. Burg, G. (1992). Disseminated granuloma anulare: therapy with vitamin E topically. Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland), 184(4), 308-309.
  3. Cochrane, T. Granuloma annulare: treatment with vitamin E. The British Journal Of Dermatology And Syphilis. July 1950;62(7-8):316-318. Available from: MEDLINE Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 3, 2015
  4. Ulbricht, C., Basch, E., Barrette, E., Boon, H., Chao, W., Costa, D., & ... Woods, J. (2011). Turmeric (Curcuma longa): An Evidence-Based Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 17(4), 225-236.
  5. Di Lorenzo C, Dell'Agli M, Badea M, Dima L, et al. Plant food supplements with anti-inflammatory properties: a systematic review (II). Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(5):507-16. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.691916. Review
  6. Comstock GW, Burke AE, Hoffman SC, Helzlsouer KJ, et al. Serum concentrations of alpha tocopherol, beta carotene, and retinol preceding the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Ann Rheum Dis. 1997 May;56(5):323-5
  7. Nemeth E, Bernath J. Biological activities of yarrow species (Achillea spp.). Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(29):3151-67. Review
  8. Nemeth E, Bernath J. Biological activities of yarrow species (Achillea spp.). Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(29):3151-67. Review
  9. Khan Z, Bhadouria P, Bisen PS. Nutritional and therapeutic potential of Spirulina. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2005 Oct;6(5):373-9. Review.

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