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Differential diagnosis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The following annular skin conditions should be considered in the differential diagnosis:

  • tinea corporis
  • pityriasis rosea
  • nummular eczema
  • psoriasis

Note: Lack of any vesicles, scales or pustules help in differentiating granuloma annulare from the above named conditions. Less common conditions that need to be ruled out include:

  • erythema migrans of Lyme disease
  • subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus
  • erythema annulare centrifugum

Note: the latter two conditions have associated scaling. Other rare conditions that are in the differential of granuloma annulare include:

  • sarcoidosis, which may present with reddish-brown to purplish infiltrated papules and plaques that commonly are found on the face
  • Hansen's disease (leprosy), which also has erythematous annular plaques with associated scaling, alopecia, and anesthesia (1)


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