Granuloma is a generic term that refers to a small nodule. The term is used to describe any type of nodule, be it benign, malignant, or somewhere in between. Granulomas occur throughout the body. There are two types of granuloma that can occur on the skin: pyogenic granuloma and granuloma annulare. While neither is dangerous on its own, the cells can mutate and eventually become skin cancer. If you notice a bump on your skin, call your dermatologist to receive granuloma treatment. This is the easiest way to stop cancer from forming.
A granuloma is formed as a result of inflammation. The nodule itself is a mass of immune cells, known as macrophages, that can cluster when a person is experiencing a disease. Granulomas can form when a person’s immune system tries to wall off substances it perceives as dangerous, such as viruses, foreign bodies, and other types of disease.
Types of Granuloma
- Pyogenic Granuloma. Pyogenic granuloma looks like small, reddish bumps on the skin that tend to bleed. This type of granuloma is caused by an injury to the skin, like a cut. It is most frequently found on the hands, arms, and face. In some cases, the nodule will spontaneously disappear. More often, the lesions need to be removed by surgery. There may be some scarring as a result of these treatments, but light scarring is a small price to pay for removing a potentially cancerous growth.
- Granuloma Annulare. This type of nodule can occur in any person, but it is more common in children and young adults. It is characterized by a ring-shaped lesion that is round and firm, appearing as a red, white, or purple skin around a clear crater of normal skin. It can appear individually or in groups. Most often, it appears on tops of hands and feet, elbows and knees. Most people have no other symptoms, but some may experience itchiness at the site of the lesion. Granuloma annulare can resolve itself and may or may not disappear over time without treatment. However, if the incidence is widespread or aesthetically undesirable, a dermatologist may prescribe a steroid cream or inject steroids just below the skin’s surface to speed healing.
No matter the type of granuloma you are experiencing, it is important to see a doctor for treatment. Only a medical professional will have the experience necessary to formally diagnose the lesion and provide an appropriate treatment.
Common Granuloma Treatment
All granuloma treatment must be conducted by a doctor in a medical setting. These treatment options typically include removal, either through surgery or freezing, but they can also include steroid injection to speed healing. A doctor may also recommend psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy. In this granuloma treatment, a medication called psoralen is given and then the area is exposed to ultraviolet light.
When to See a Doctor for Granuloma Treatment
No matter the granuloma treatment you need, it is important to consult a doctor. Granuloma don’t typically pose a threat at first, but without swift treatment, they may grow to become cancerous. If you have noticed a granuloma and want to see a medical dermatologist, contact us to schedule an appointment or consultation.