What Is Nummular Eczema?
A chronic condition that often targets the arms and legs nummular eczema is a skin disorder that appears as coin-shaped spots.
Nummular eczema is also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis.
The word “nummular” comes from the Latin word for “coin” and it is dubbed that way because the spots that appear on the person’s arms and legs look like coins.
The symptoms of the spots differ for each person. Some spots are itchy while others are not. Some spots are dry and scaly while others are wet and open; the latter often oozing fluid from the wounds.
According to statistics, these spots often occur in men between 55 and 65 years old, while in women they get these spots during their adolescent years.
The symptoms occur after an injury to the skin. An abrasion, burn or even an insect bite can lead up to nummular eczema developing on the skin and these spots can last for many months.
Nummular eczema can also occur when the climate is too cold like in winter and the person’s skin is too dry.
Other than that, this skin disorder can also occur when the person’s skin comes into contact with nickel.
Fortunately, there are medications one can take to curb this skin disorder and though it seems like a contagious disease it is not and neither can it be caused by poor hygiene.
Although nummular eczema often appears on arms and legs the spots can also spread to the torso and hands. The color can vary. Some spots can sport a red hue while others can be brown or pink.
Causes of Nummular Eczema
Dermatologists are still unsure what causes nummular eczema but their findings have showed that people who suffer from this condition often have a family history of allergies, asthma or atopic dermatitis.
Also, people who suffer from this condition often have very sensitive skin.
Listed below are some factors that can cause nummular eczema:
- Changes in temperature
- Dry skin
- Certain metals like nickel
People who also experience poor blood flow or swelling in the legs can be prone to this condition.
Nummular eczema can be mistaken for a ringworm infection since they look alike but the symptoms for the former are very different from a fungal infection.
Here are the symptoms to look out for if you have nummular eczema:
- You have dry skin all over or most parts of your body
- You have patches on your skin that differ in color. They can be red, brown, pink or yellow. Yellow patches might indicate that you have an infection.
- You have tiny red spots that can turn into big rashes. Some patches can grow over four inches and some patches can be circular.
- Some patches can have a burning sensation
- The itchiness can be mild or severe. Severe itchiness can even cause insomnia for some people.
Ringworm infections do not cause these symptoms but for a clearer view on whether you have nummular eczema consult a doctor immediately and have yourself diagnosed properly.
Diagnosing Nummular Eczema
Dermatologists will ask about your medical history to find out if anyone else in your family has the same condition.
A skin biopsy may be required to correctly diagnose this condition because some skin disorders that often look like nummular eczema.
If the spots on your skin may be caused by an allergic reaction the dermatologist could conduct an allergy test to confirm it. Performing an allergy test could include blood and skin tests to find out what allergens may be causing your skin to react.
Treatment/s for Nummular Eczema
Unfortunately, there are no treatments yet for nummular eczema but dermatologist and allergists say that people suffering from this condition can learn to manage it by implementing some changes to their lifestyle.
Some of the ways people can manage their nummular eczema is to avoid the following:
- Hot water and excessive bathing
- Harsh soaps
- Wool and other irritants that could trigger a reaction
- Abrasions, cuts and scrapes on the skin
- Fabric softeners and dryer sheets
- Household cleaners and other chemicals
In order to help relieve your nummular eczema you can do the following:
- Apply medicated lotions or skin ointments to affected skin
- Take antihistamines to relieve itching and discomfort
- Undergo UV light treatment
- Cover affected areas with moist bandages
- Hydrate skin with non-scented moisturizers right after taking a shower
Despite this debilitating condition nummular eczema can be treated and symptoms can disappear within one year. Unfortunately, this condition is chronic and can still occur from time to time.
Spots on the legs, feet and thighs often take longer to heal and even if it goes away it can leave dark spots on your skin. In order to prevent this condition from flaring up its best to know the triggers and avoid it at all times.