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Granuloma faciale

Kiran Motaparthi, MD
Section Editor
Jeffrey Callen, MD, FACP, FAAD
Deputy Editor
Abena O Ofori, MD


Granuloma faciale is a benign and chronic inflammatory dermatosis that presents as single or multiple red-brown or violaceous papules, plaques, or nodules that range from several millimeters to several centimeters in diameter (picture 1A-E). The most common site for granuloma faciale is the face. Treatment can be challenging.

The clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of granuloma faciale will be reviewed here.


Granuloma faciale is rare. However, the exact incidence and prevalence are unknown. Middle-aged Caucasian adults are the most common population in which granuloma faciale is reported, and males are more likely to be affected than females. In a French retrospective analysis of 66 patients with granuloma faciale, 41 patients were men and 25 were women, giving a sex ratio of 1.7:1 [1]. All patients were adults and the mean age was 53 years (range 20 to 85 years). Granuloma faciale rarely occurs in children [2].


The name “granuloma faciale” is a misnomer because granuloma formation is not a histologic feature of this disorder [3]. Rather, vasculitis is a common histologic finding, suggesting that granuloma faciale may be a localized form of cutaneous small vessel vasculitis [1,3,4].

The factors that contribute to the development of granuloma faciale are unknown. Hypersensitivity reactions, actinic exposure, infection, trauma, and radiation are examples of proposed contributors; however, roles for these factors are unproven [4,5].  


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Aug 4, 2016.
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