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Nummular eczema

Eczema - discoid; Nummular dermatitis

Nummular eczema is a dermatitis (eczema) in which itchy, coin-shaped spots or patches appear on the skin. The word nummular is Latin for "resembling coins."

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Causes

The cause of nummular eczema is unknown. But there usually is a personal or family history of:

Things that can make the condition worse include:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any of the following:

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider can usually diagnose this condition by looking at your skin and asking about your family's medical history.

A skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other similar conditions. Allergy testing may be done.

Treatment

Eczema is often treated with medicines applied to the skin. These are called topical medicines, and may include:

You may also be asked to try the wet wrap treatment. This involves the following steps:

The following measures may help improve your symptoms or prevent them from returning if your skin has cleared:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Nummular eczema is a long-term (chronic) condition. Medical treatment and avoiding irritants can help reduce symptoms.

Possible Complications

A secondary infection of the skin may develop.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your provider if you have symptoms of this condition.

Also contact your provider if:

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent the disorder.

Related Information

Allergies - overview
Atopic dermatitis
Chronic
Stress and your health
Secondary infections

References

Coulson I. Discoid eczema: nummular eczema. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 59.

James WD, Elston DM, McMahon PJ. Atopic dermatitis, eczema, and noninfectious immunodeficiency disorders. In: James WD, Elston DM, McMahon PJ, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin Clinical Atlas. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 5.

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Review Date: 5/2/2017  

Reviewed By: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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