Granuloma Annulare

What is Granuloma Annulare?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been diagnosed with Granuloma Annulare (GA). It also means you’ve probably Googled everything because you haven’t been given much hope from your doctor or dermatologist. 

Granuloma annulare is described as a benign inflammatory skin condition, with an autoimmune component. From a functional medicine perspective, anything classified as autoimmune or having a persistent rash on the skin is something to pay attention to. These things aren’t “benign” to us and I’m sure deep down you agree that something is “off”. The body doesn’t do anything without a good reason.

The latest research shows GA is significantly associated with other autoimmune diseases, hypothyroid conditions, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia [1]. This tells us it’s a systemic problem and not just a skin condition. This is why we need to tackle GA with an inside-out approach and not just rely on topical solutions. 

People with GA are often left frustrated and embarrassed about their skin. In our opinion, it’s not good enough to say, “Just wait 2 years and it will probably go away.” It’s dismissive and very hard emotionally. In many cases, GA does NOT disappear on its own after 2 years. Chronic skin conditions affect a person’s day-to-day life, their ability to socialise, it lowers self-confidence and negatively impacts mental health [2], which is why we need to take it seriously… not to mention the underlying issue is still left untreated.

If you have GA, you’re likely overwhelmed by the diagnosis and underwhelmed by the the lack of research and treatment options. 

We’re on a mission to change that.

You're in the right place if:

We work with people who are open to natural health care and who are committed to integrating healthy lifestyle changes. Our programs are for those who truly care about what ingredients go into their body and on their skin (or they’re willing to learn!).

My experience with pregnancy & granuloma annulare:

Pregnancy is a wild time where many things can change in your body. In my third trimester, I noticed a purple spot developing on the outside of my left ankle. As soon as I was 10 weeks postpartum, it flared into a full-blown granuloma annulare lesion.

Most people would assume this means GA is a hormonal problem, however we know that pregnancy is an immune event that can turn on or off autoimmune disease. We also know that many autoimmune conditions will appear in the first year after having a child for a myriad of reasons – stress, malnourishment & lack of sleep to name a few. We even need to consider buried emotions such as anger, resentment or unresolved birth trauma which occurs in 1 in 3 women.

My own experience (and pregnancy insomnia!) took me deep down the research rabbit-hole, with a keen interest to figure out what lies beneath this frustrating skin condition.

What causes Granuloma Annulare?

Ahhhh the golden question. I’ll give you the answer that everyone hates – it depends.

First of all, there are various risk factors for granuloma annulare:

  • GA has a predilection for women, with a female-to-male ratio of 3:1. This is no surprise considering most autoimmune diseases are more common in females.
  • We also know that if you have been diagnosed with one autoimmune disease, you are more likely to be diagnosed with another. GA has been linked to Hashimotos’ Thyroiditis, Diabetes Mellitus, Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus (SLE).

There are also associated conditions in the literature:

  • Infections: Borrelia DNA was found to be present in 9.6% of biopsies and Chlamydiales DNA to be present in 72.6% of biopsies [1]. Epstein–Barr V, varicella zoster & that “other thing” starting with “C” that’s been circulating around the world in recent times has also been linked to GA.
  • Iatrogenic: This is a fancy term meaning “caused by medical examination or treatment”. There are many medications that are implicated in instigating GA. [1]
  • Dyslipidemia: the presence of one or more of the following: hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated LDL cholesterol, and or low HDL cholesterol.

There are other anecdotal triggers circulating on the internet, which we’ll discuss further in our newsletters.

How we approach Granuloma Annulare:

With any inflammatory condition or autoimmune disease, you need to understand 2 things:

What we’re saying is that your medical history is going to differ from mine. This is why we can’t treat people the same way, even when you have the same diagnosis. Your diagnosis of granuloma annulare doesn’t matter, how you got there does.

GA is simply a symptom of a deeper issue at play. Our skin is not a seperate organ – all systems of the body work together. The skin is connected to your gut, your lymphatic system, your circulatory system, even the brain and nervous system!

If all of this resonates and you are interested in learning more about Granuloma Annulare – enter your details below! 

Want more information on Granuloma Annulare?

GA Lead Magnet

[1] Joshi, Tejas P, and Madeleine Duvic. “Granuloma Annulare: An Updated Review of Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Treatment Options.” American journal of clinical dermatology vol. 23,1 (2022): 37-50. doi:10.1007/s40257-021-00636-1

[2] Belzer, Annika et al. “The association of anxiety with granuloma annulare: a case-control study of the National Institutes of Health ‘All of Us’ research programme.” The British journal of dermatology vol. 188,4 (2023): 558-560. doi:10.1093/bjd/ljac114