Treatment of Granuloma Annulare with the 585 nm Pulsed Dye Laser

Background. Granuloma annulare is a chronic asymptomatic dermatosis that is typically manifested by annular papules arising on the dorsa of the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. Multiple treatment modalities have been used with variable efficacy, but no known cure exists. Obtaining long-term resolution of involved areas is often a therapeutic challenge.

Objective. We report the results of treatment of a patient with localized erythematous granuloma annulare with a 585 nm flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser.

Methods. A single granuloma annulare plaque present on the left wrist for 3 years was treated on three occasions with a 585 nm flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser initially and repeated at months 5 and 13.

Results. After initial pulsed dye laser treatment, significant flattening and reduction of erythema were evident within the treated area. After a second treatment at month 5 and a third treatment at month 13, further improvement was evident, and long-term remission was achieved.

Conclusion. Localized granuloma annulare may be difficult to manage, presenting a therapeutic challenge. Thorough understanding of available treatment options, their relative efficacies, and risks of complication can facilitate successful management of this chronic disease. Pulsed dye laser therapy may be an effective and relatively safe treatment option for erythematous granuloma annulare, although prospective studies in additional patients would be desirable. Improvement of the condition in a single patient does not imply that others might improve, and variability in response is more likely.