Nummular dermatitis or nummular eczema is a type of dermatitis characterized by specific skin changes which develop in a form of oval and coin-shaped lesions. These skin lesions are typically red and itchy. They most commonly occur on the legs and arms although from there they may also spread to the trunk. The condition got its name due to specific appearance of the skin lesions. Namely, nummular is the word originating from the Latin language and it means coin. The lesions resemble coin, hence the connection.
Nummular dermatitis predominantly affects people older than 50 years. It is more frequent among men. This is a chronic skin condition. Patients have to deal with repeated phases of remission and flare-ups. It is estimated that individuals with very dry skin may be more susceptible to nummular dermatitis and that if one is already suffering from contact dermatitis, his/her chances to develop nummular dermatitis increase significantly.Trigger Factors Associated with Nummular Eczema
Once the condition develops patients may face exacerbation due to different factors. For example, the condition may reoccur due to cold weather and temperature changes. By wearing wool clothing the skin can get irritated and the skin lesions may develop. Furthermore, the condition reoccurs due to use of harsh soaps, detergents and solvents. Even stress can be a contributing factor to flare-ups. And finally, excessive sweating as well as frequent bathing may induce formation of typical skin lesions.Diagnosing Nummular Dermatitis
A well experienced dermatologist can easily diagnose nummular eczema after taking a patient's history and proper physical examination. By observing the pattern of skin lesions and their specific appearance the doctor can be sure that a person is suffering from this type of dermatitis.
Treatment for Nummular Dermatitis
Since nummular dermatitis represents chronic condition the goal of the treatment is to alleviate symptoms when the rash occurs and to prevent recurrence of the disease.
Skin lesions are treated with moisturizing lotions and these are supposed to be applied immediately after a shower or a bath. Severe cases require topical corticosteroids (ointments) and sometimes even oral form or injections of corticosteroids. Ultralight therapy may be beneficial for resistant cases.
Prevention of nummular dermatitis includes avoidance of all factors which can contribute to exacerbation of skin lesions. This means that an individual is supposed to take luke-warm showers instead of hot water showers, avoid harsh soaps and detergents, wear only cotton clothing and avoid any contact with harsh chemicals such as gasoline, petroleum products or fertilizers. The skin must be kept properly moisturized (a moisturize lotion is supposed to be applied at least twice a day).