Skin Disorders

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness. A skin disorder not only affects your physical health, but also your emotional well-being.


SkinCareSkin Disorders › Nummular Eczema

Nummular Eczema

Nummular eczema is a puzzling disease with at least three names: (1) nummular eczema, the most commonly used name, (2) nummular eczematous dermatitis, a longer and more medically descriptive name, and (3) discoid eczema, a name derived from the disease's typical coin-shaped lesions.

Nummular eczema is a chronic, pruritic, inflammatory dermatitis occurring in the form of coin-shaped plaques composed of grouped small papules and vesicles on an erythematous base, especially common on the lower legs of older males during winter months; often seen in atopic individuals.

Nummular eczema is more common in males. The traditional view of this eczema subtype as being caused by microbial agents has not been confirmed.

Causes of Nummular eczema

Nummular Eczema

The cause of nummular eczema is unknown, but there usually is a personal or family history of asthma, allergies , atopic dermatitis , or similar disorders. It is a relatively uncommon disorder that most often occurs in elderly men.

Eczema is generally a chronic , recurring condition. Exposure to environmental irritants may worsen symptoms, as can dryness of the skin, temperature changes, and stress .

Signs and symptoms of Nummular eczema

The majority of patches are round or oval, hence the name 'discoid' or 'nummular' dermatitis, which refers to their disc or coin shape. They are closely grouped, small vesicles and papules that coalesce into plaques, often more than 4 to 5 cm in diameter, with an erythematous base with distinct borders. Plaques may become exudative and crust. Excoriations secondary to scratching. Dry scaly plaques that may be lichenified. Round or coin­shaped. hence the adjective nummular (Latin: nummularis, "like a coin"). Margins often more pronounced than center. Some of the sign and symptoms are:-

  • Pruritus, often intense
  • Scaly or excoriated (raw) skin
  • Skin redness or inflammation

Nummular eczema Diagnosis

The diagnosis is based on a careful history and the clinical picture. To detect super infections, bacterial swabs should be taken, as well as mycological cultures to exclude tinea. Patch testing allows an exclusion of underlying allergies.

Treatment for Nummular eczema

Unfortunately, there is no cure. However, there are effective ways of controlling it. Very strong prescription strength cortisone ointments applied to the skin are the best medicines for controlling nummular eczema. When used for an extended period of time, or over large areas of the body, periodic dermatology exams are necessary. Strong cortisone ointments shouldn't be applied to the face, armpits, groin, or rectal area. When using cortisone ointments always remember to use just a little and massage it in well. In most cases, application once daily does as much good as using it more often.

Tips on preventing and treating Nummular eczema

  • As this type of dermatitis often starts off as minor skin injuries, protect all your skin carefully. If the hands are affected, use gloves and tools to make sure the skin is not irritated by friction, detergents, solvents, other chemicals or excessive water.
  • In general, keep the skin lubricated. Apply oil such as Neutrogena body oil or Alpha-Keri oil to the skin at the end of ones shower. Vaseline is even more helpful if not too greasy.
  • Do not take more than one bath or shower a day.
  • Avoid contact with wool or rough clothing.

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