Granuloma Faciale at a Glance
- Granuloma faciale is an uncommon inflammatory dermatosis characterized clinically by reddish brown papules and plaques primarily involving the face.
- The pathology shows changes of a chronic leukocytoclastic vasculitis with a mixed infiltrate containing eosinophils, extensive perivascular fibrin deposition, and dermal fibrosis.
- Etiology is unknown.
Early cases of granuloma faciale were reported as “eosinophilic granuloma” of the skin. Weidman was the first to separate three cases that had been previously reported in the literature as variants of erythema elevatum diutinum.1 Lever and Leeper helped to differentiate the lesions from other eosinophil-rich diseases.2 Cobane, Straith, and Pinkus later stressed the histologic resemblance to erythema elevatum diutinum (EED) and termed the lesions “facial granulomas with eosinophilia” and later granuloma faciale.3 Granuloma faciale occurs predominantly in adult men and women. There is a slight male predominance, and mean age at presentation is 52 years.4,5 Granuloma faciale can occur in individuals of any race; however, it is more common in Caucasians. The disease presents most commonly with a single lesion on the face, but extrafacial lesions have been described.6 Patients with multiple lesions have also been reported.7 A rare mucosal variant has been described as eosinophilic angiocentric fibrosis, which typically involves the upper respiratory tract.8
The etiology of granuloma faciale is unknown. The disease can be considered a localized chronic fibrosing vasculitis.9 Immunofluorescence studies have revealed deposition of immunoglobulins and complement factors in the vessel walls consistent with a type III immunologic response, marked by deposition of circulating immune complexes surrounding superficial and deep blood vessels.10,11 However, other authors have described negative results with immunofluorescence.12
Granuloma faciale is characterized by solitary papules, plaques, or nodules. The lesions are typically asymptomatic red, brown, or violaceous plaques that are soft, smooth, and well circumscribed, often showing follicular accentuation and telangiectasia (Figs. 34-1 and 34-2). Ulceration is rare. Lesions are most common on the face. Sites of predilection include the nose, preauricular area, cheeks, forehead, eyelids, and ears.4,12 Rarely, patients may present with multiple lesions or lesions on the trunk or extremities. Extrafacial lesions have been reported both as isolated findings and in conjunction with facial lesions. Lesions may be present for weeks or months and tend to follow a chronic course. Lesions are typically asymptomatic; however, patients may complain of tenderness, burning, or pruritus.4 Photoexacerbation of lesions has been reported.13
Granuloma faciale. Raised edematous plaques on cheek showing prominent follicular ostia.
Granuloma faciale. Single plaque on the temple showing prominent follicular ostia and central dell.
An extensive laboratory evaluation is not required. Peripheral blood eosinophilia is occasionally detected.