What is nummular dermatitis?

Also called discoid eczema, this condition causes circle or oval shaped rashes that may itch or burn. It often appears after a skin injury, a burn, abrasion from friction, or insect bite. A person may see 1 or more patches which can last weeks or months.


What are the symptoms?

It usually starts as round, dry sores, which begin as a group and can enlarge and grow together. Blister like sores may seep fluid that crusts when drying. They range in size from under one to over 4 inches. They occur in the legs most often, but can occur anywhere, with varying itch and burn. The skin inbetween patches stays clear, but can easily become dry.

How is it diagnosed?

At Dermatology of Seattle, we have skilled dermatologists who can diagnose nummular dermatitis by looking at your skin. If your dermatologist thinks you have an infection, he or she may swab the sores. Patch testing is used if your dermatologist thinks you’re allergic to something, as allergies can prevent the skin from clearing.

What causes this condition?

Men get it more than woman. Men usually between 55 and 65 years of age, but women tend to get it younger, even as teens. It is not contagious.

How is it treated?

These sores can be difficult.
Protect your skin from injury.Hydrate your skin by applying moisturizer to damp skin after a shower or bath. It will help relieve the itch. A dermatologist recommended bath oil can help too. Corticosteroid ointments or tar creams are often used. These help reduce inflammation. A prescription antibiotic may be used in case of infection. Sleep aids can help if the person has trouble sleeping at night from the condition. Phototherapy is sometimes used.
Nummular dermatitis can clear with proper treatment here at Dermatology of Seattle. Sometimes patches disappear and return in the same place.