What is discoid dermatitis or nummular eczema?

discoid dermatitisIn this article we are going to look at discoid eczema which can also be referred to as nummular eczema, or nummular dermatitis. You’ll be able to reference what is eczema, what causes discoid dermatitis, what the symptoms of discoid dermatitis are, how to diagnose it, and how to treat discoid dermatitis.

This non-contagious problem is an inflammation of the skin that manifests itself in the form of a rash. Generally affecting the lower extremities but mostly the lower legs, hands, and forearms, discoid dermatitis can work its way to other areas of the human body.

The rash can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable as evidenced by the red coin shaped sores that accompany it. The round or oval plaques, made of tiny raised red spots and scaling on a red base, have well defined edges.  The sores can either be raised or have well defined edges and grow to be a few millimeters or a few centimeters in size. This can be a long term problem or one that rears its head on an ongoing basis.

Individuals with discoid or nummular exema have the capacity to develop additional secondary skin infections or other forms of dermatitis.

The main reason the term nummular is used in this type of exzema is because the sores tend to be round or coin like, with the Latin term nummus referring to being coin like.

What causes discoid dermatitis?

While its exact cause is not known, discoid eczema has been linked to allergies. It can be triggered by insect bite, other skin problems, interferon treatment the Hepatitus virus.

Discoid dermatitis symptoms?

Symptoms of discoid eczema are more frequently reported to doctors during the winter months, when indoor humidity levels are lower.

Although discoid eczema symptoms can occur at any age, they are more commonly seen in males in their 60s and 70s.

There is also a lesser peak during the teen years to mid 20s. Discoid eczema is extremely rare in children.

Diagnosing discoid dermatitis

Your doctor should be able to observe the signs and symptoms of the problem to make an accurate diagnosis. In some extreme case, you could be referred to a dermatologist or skin specialist.

Usually, the doctor will take some samples of any lesions for analysis. This is done to check for any tinea. Ringworm has a tendency to present itself with similar signs to discoid dermatitis. There is always the possibility for secondary infections given any open sores or lesions, usually, the physician will swab for this.

Normally, there are no biopsies required.

How is discoid dermatitis treated?

The good news is that using proper treatment, nummular dermatitis is easily eradicated. Please be aware, that if your skin lesions exist on the lower extremities such as the legs, it could take longer to heal and you may have scars. The treatment plan for nummular eczema consists of:

Further injury to the skin must be avoided

The skin must be kept hydrated. Taking luke warm baths or showers once a day and the applying a moisturizer to the skin while it is still damp will help alleviate the problem. Bath oil is also a good alternative.

Any over-the-counter medications should be followed as directed. Follow physicians instructions on any prescribed medications.

Here are some other articles about eczema you may enjoy reading:

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