Nummular Eczema is a chronic dermatitis. The word nummular comes from the Latin term ‘nummus’ meaning coin. An appropriate name for the condition, as it presents itself as stubborn coin shaped lesions. The lesions are red, inflamed and scaly. They are often accompanied by vesicular eruptions or blisters.
Also known as Discoid Eczema
Nummular eczema is also known as Discoid eczema. The lesions are usually wide spread on the arms and legs. They sometimes appear on the trunk and buttocks as well. As the condition clears the lesions heal from the inner skin layers to the outer. They look like red rings not unlike ring worm. It is because of these red rings that nummular eczema also became known as Discoid eczema.
Typical of any eczema the cause of nummular eczema is unknown and there is no known cure. It is most common in older people especially if they have excessively dry skin. It is worse in the winter season, low humidity, during times of emotional stress and with frequent bathing (ie more than once a day).
Treatment is aimed at decreasing the inflammation and itching whilst healing the lesions. Cortisone is the preferred cream prescribed by doctors. Coal tar may be required for stubborn lesions. Although remission is possible, flare ups will occur if the skin is not kept moisturised and well hydrated.
Nummular Eczema treatment
Although not curable nummular eczema is controllable. Regular treatment and moisturising are the key. Because nummular eczema often covers a large amount of the body a daily bath with a good quality bath oil added is the most effective way to keep the skin moisturised. I recommend soaking in a warm bath for 15 – 20 minutes each evening. Pat the skin dry after the bath and rub in any excess bath oil left on the skin. Many bath oils can be applied directly to the skin if the skin is excessively dry (check labels to ensure this is recommended).
Immediately after bathing apply your treating cream to the lesions. It is after the soaking that the skin is at its softest and moistest and the most receptive to the cream. Use the cream as directed on the packaging and as many times as suggested to aid in the healing of the lesions and skin repair.