My granuloma annulare rash is not something I would wish on anyone but it has proven to be a very useful tool in tracking the progress of my mast cell disease and the resulting systemic inflammation.
In the last few weeks it has been fading completely and reappearing depending on how triggered my MCAS is which really helps me (and my doctors/caregivers) to visualize what is happening in my body inflammation-wise.
My first one appeared rather suddenly three years ago. It started as a bruise on my upper inner right arm and grew into blistery bumps and finally formed a ring, like a ringworm (yikes!).
Here’s what it looked like after the punch biopsy:
Once I began eliminating triggers it disappeared completely with no trace and no sign of return (yay!) but the second one that came up on my upper right thigh shortly after my MCAS diagnosis has never really cleared up. It has spread into multiple rings and fades almost completely but comes back whenever my MCAS is triggered.
** edited to add: I was recently prescribed clobetasol propionate and it worked! Within a few days! I stopped using it though because of the potential MCAS triggering ingredients. 🙁
Here’s what it looked like when it came back after being “dormant” for awhile:
At first I just got one at a time but now they are forming new rings off of old ones (like above) and new ones are popping up like this one on my upper left thigh:
I have a similar one on my upper inner left arm now, too. It’s interesting that they come up in almost exactly the same places on my body (upper thighs, upper inner arms). Not sure why, but I like things to be symmetrical so it works for me I guess.
Again, as distressing as it is I am sort of glad I have this because it definitely flares when I am degranulating badly and calms way down when things are (somewhat) under control. My son, who also has MCAS, has the same problem except his GA rash appears as an itchy rash with a few bumps on his fingers whenever he is triggered:
In addition to the ring-shaped ones, I get itchy red bumps all over that look like bug bites but are most likely GA, too.
My goal is to make them disappear for good because that will mean our MCAS is in check. I have no doubt there is a connection between these two conditions and I was happy to find that Dr. Afrin also recognizes the connection.
You can read all about that here.