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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-132  

Granuloma faciale

1 Department of Pathology, National Institute of Pathology, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication4-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avninder Singh
Room 602, National Institute of Pathology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Safdarjung Hospital Campus, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.178083

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How to cite this article:
Kaur M, Singh A, Ramesh V. Granuloma faciale. Indian Dermatol Online J 2016;7:130-2

How to cite this URL:
Kaur M, Singh A, Ramesh V. Granuloma faciale. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Jul 6];7:130-2. Available from: http://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2016/7/2/130/178083


A 33-year-old woman presented with multiple asymptomatic reddish-brown soft papules and plaques on her forehead [Figure 1]a. The lesions were few millimeters to 1.8 cm in dimension and associated with perilesional erythema. The lesions had gradually increased in the last one year. There was no history of photosensitivity or joint pains. No skin lesions were present elsewhere. General and systemic examination results were normal. Routine laboratory investigations were normal. Clinical differential diagnoses of sarcoidosis, discoid lupus erythematosus, and Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of skin were considered.
Figure 1: (a) Reddish papulo-plaques on forehead. (b) Photomicrograph of lesion showing Grenz zone and mixed inflammatory infiltrate, (H and E stain ×40)

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Histopathology showed a normal epidermis with an underlying subepidermal Grenz zone and a dense mid-dermal polymorphous inflammatory infiltrate [Figure 1]b. The inflammatory infiltrate consisted of lymphohistiocytes, neutrophils, few plasma cells, and many eosinophils [Figure 2]. Scattered neutrophilic nuclear dust was present but no vasculitis was seen. A diagnosis of granuloma faciale (GF) was rendered.
Figure 2: Dermal polymorphous infiltrate with abundance of eosinophils (H and E, ×400)

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GF is a rare but distinct inflammatory dermatosis characterized by reddish brown to violaceous single or multiple plaques or nodules located primarily on face. It is usually seen in middle-aged adults and has predilection in males. GF may show prominent follicular orifices and may be covered with telangiectasias.[1] The condition is asymptomatic and has no systemic features. Extrafacial presentation has been reported.[2] Sites include scalp, trunk, and extremities. The clinical differential diagnoses include lupus vulgaris, sarcoidosis, discoid lupus erythematosus, pseudolymphoma, Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate, and angiolymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia. The lesions tend to be chronic, slow growing, and persistent.

Microscopic examination is diagnostic and should be performed to exclude other conditions. Skin biopsy shows a subepidermal Grenz zone and a dermal mixed inflammatory infiltrate consisting predominantly neutrophils and eosinophils. A small vessel vasculitis is usually present. Its pathogenesis is unknown but role of proinflammatory cytokines has been implicated. Production of interleukin-5 by clonal T-cell population may cause chemotaxis of eosinophils to the lesion.[3]

It is a recalcitrant condition notorious for its resistance to treatment. Glucocorticoids, dapsone, cryotherapy, laser ablation, and surgery have been used to treat GF in the past. A complication of scarring may result from ablative treatment. Pulsed dye laser often produces resolution without scarring and should be generally tried before putting the patient on long-term medication. Topical tacrolimus, which inhibits T-lymphocyte proliferation and hence release of cytokines has been reported to be successful in treating GF including extrafacial GF and seems to be the best medical treatment currently available.[2]

This patient was treated with topical application of tacrolimus ointment 0.1% twice daily for 8 weeks. At 6 months followup the lesions had significantly diminished and no relapse had occurred.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Ortonne N, Wechsler J, Bagot M, Grosshans E, Crisbier B. Granuloma faciale: A clinicopathological study of 66 patients. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005;53:1002-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Gupta L, Naik H, Kumar NM, Kar HK. Granuloma faciale with extrafacial involvement and response to tacrolimus. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2012;5:150-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Gauger A, Ronet C, Schnopp C, Abeck D, Hein R, Köhn FM, et al. High local interleukin 5 production in granuloma faciale (eosinophilicum): Role of clonally expanded skin-specific CD4+cells. Br J Dermatol 2005;153:454-7.  Back to cited text no. 3


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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