Coin-shaped patches on the skin is one of the most characteristic signs of nummular eczema. This write-up provides information on the symptoms of this skin condition.
Nummular eczema, which is also known as nummular dermatitis or discoid dermatitis, is an allergy-related skin disorder that is characterized by itchy, coin-shaped lesions on the skin. It gets its name from the Latin word nummus, which means coin. Males above the age of sixty are more likely to be affected by this condition. The individuals affected by this form of eczema are vulnerable to other types of dermatitis as well. Generally those who have a family history of allergies, atopic dermatitis or asthma are more prone to getting this skin disorder.
Causes and Symptoms
Though the causes of this skin condition are unknown, it is believed that this condition is associated with dry skin. It has been observed that people affected by this form of eczema have flare-ups during dry weather conditions. Frequent bathing, excessive use of soaps, and wearing tight woolen clothing can also aggravate the symptoms. Though this condition rarely affects children, an outbreak might be attributed to changing soaps or lotions. For some children, it could be caused due to use of new medications.
One of the most common symptoms of nummular eczema is the appearance of coin-shaped itchy lesions. Such coin-shaped patches generally develop on the arms and legs, but can also spread to the torso. In the early stages, one might see small papules. These might also ooze for days and then form crusts. These tiny bumps then merge to become a coin-shaped patch, the size of which could range from 2-10 cm. After some time, the papules turn crusty, eventually turning into brown macules. There could be a single patch or several patches that can take about a year to clear up. Other symptoms include itching, burning sensation, redness, and inflamed skin.
Since the causes of this condition are not known, the treatment involves alleviating the symptoms. Unlike atopic dermatitis, this type of eczema is not caused by allergies. Though allergies are not a causative factor, these can worsen your condition. It is important to determine what triggers an allergic reaction on your skin. Since the presence of certain allergens can aggravate the symptoms, it is advisable to avoid such triggers. If certain cosmetic products give rise to an allergic reaction, avoid using them in future.
For some people, fabric softener residue on clothes can cause an allergic reaction too. If that’s the case with you, refrain from using a fabric softener while laundering the clothes. As it has been seen that dryness of skin can also cause problems, the affected individuals must keep their skin moisturized. The use of lotions, creams, bath oils, and emollients is generally advised in order to keep the skin hydrated. Since taking bath in hot water can make your skin dry, it is advisable to use lukewarm or cold water. Excessive use of soaps can also rob the skin of moisture, therefore, it must be avoided. Make sure that you don’t scratch the affected area, as it can also lead to secondary infections. If the burning sensation, scaling, and itching still persists, mild steroids or oral histamines might be prescribed. Some people might also respond well to antibiotics. Vaseline, tar, and cortisone creams might prove helpful in controlling this skin disorder.
If you ever notice coin-shaped lesions on your skin, consult a dermatologist soon. Though emollients are often prescribed for alleviating the symptoms, avoiding the triggers and keeping your skin moisturized will certainly help in controlling this skin condition.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.