Skip to main content

Last Updated on April 23, 2024

Nummular eczema (also known as nummular dermatitis) is an irritating rash that creates coin-shaped areas on the skin. It appears scaly and red around the circular lesions and can cause itching and burning to the skin. It can develop at any age and is difficult to treat.


Nummular eczema, discoid eczema, or nummular dermatitis is an uncommon form of eczema and affects two in 1000 individuals. It characterizes coin-shaped patches of irritated skin. This eczema can significantly impact the quality of life and affect an individual’s daily routine.

If you want to know the whereabouts of this eczema or mild nummular eczema, stay connected with us in this guide.

Nummular Eczema-Signs, Treatment, and More

Inflammatory, red, and scaly patches of inflamed, round, or oval-shaped skin characterize this eczema. Over time, these patches may ooze, crust over, or become dry and flaky. Unlike other forms of eczema, this eczema appears on the legs and arms. However, the exact cause of this eczema is not known.

Let’s see this type of eczema in detail.


People with this eczema have a family history of skin problems and allergies like hay fever or asthma. But certain things can make the condition worse or even cause it:

  • Firstly, there are allergies. Some folks might react badly to metals like nickel or cobalt or even to mercury found in old fillings. It can mess with the immune system and lead to eczema.
  • Stress is a paramount factor. Feeling anxious or stressed out can make this eczema worse because it messes with how the immune system works.
  • Some people find that drinking alcohol makes their eczema symptoms worse, although this isn’t very common.
  • Certain medications can also dry out the skin, raising the risk of getting this eczema. These include things like diuretics and antivirals.
  • Then, there are environmental irritants like strong cleaners or chemicals, which can make eczema worse.
  • Temperature changes can also play a role. Cold, dry weather in the winter and hot, sweaty weather in the summer might make this eczema flare up.
  • Injuries to the skin, like cuts or scrapes, can also trigger eczema outbreaks.
  • Finally, some people are sensitive to strong-smelling lotions, scratchy wool, or tight clothing. Contact with these can worsen their eczema.

What Can Trigger This Eczema?

Some trigger factors are behind the appearance of those red patches of skin.

Temperature fluctuations, stress, and exposure to irritants like wool, rough clothes, and strong soaps can cause dry skin. This eczema might resemble ringworm, so it’s crucial to confirm with a doctor if the condition isn’t improving with treatment. Consult your doctor to manage this condition properly.

If you notice these symptoms and want to prevent them, you may enroll in eczema clinical trials to help find a potential treatment.


The symptoms of nummular eczema are associated with a skin injury like a burn, scratch, or insect sting, but they can also arise from other reasons. Here are the signs:

  • Lesions shaped like coins
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Formation of blisters
  • Dry and scaly skin around the lesions
  • Skin changing color to red, pink, or brown
  • New raised flare-ups appearing on old lesions

Also read Asteotic eczema: causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What are the Treatment Options

Nummular eczema appears like other skin issues such as psoriasis or ringworm. It might also show up with different types of eczema, like atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis. Dermatologists can usually identify it but sometimes need to take a skin scraping to be sure.

After identification, this eczema often disappears with optimal treatment. Unlike other kinds of eczema, it usually requires effective treatment to heal.

Like atopic dermatitis, these eczema patches can become infected with bacteria, specifically Staphylococcus aureus (staph). So, treatment focuses not only on skin inflammation but also on clearing any infection.

Doctors may prescribe an effective cream containing corticosteroids and antibiotics for treatment. If the eczema patches are wet and oozy, a compress with astringent properties can help dry them out and reduce the staph infection.

Who is More Prone to Nummular Eczema?

Nummular eczema can appear at any age, and males are more likely to acquire it than girls.

Its causes are unknown, but possible triggers include extremely dry or sensitive skin, as well as trauma from insect bites, scrapes, or chemical burns.

This eczema can also develop in response to other types of eczema and associated causes, such as contact dermatitis and nickel. When it occurs on the legs, it may be caused by inadequate blood flow in the lower body, leading to stasis dermatitis.

You may want to read: Is Eczema autoimmune or not?

Prevention Strategies

While you cannot always prevent this eczema, there are steps individuals can take to reduce the risk of flare-ups:

  • Avoiding known triggers, such as dry air, extreme temperatures, and certain fabrics.
  • Moisturizing the skin regularly to maintain hydration and prevent dryness.
  • Protecting the skin from irritants by wearing gloves when cleaning or working with chemicals.
  • Managing stress through relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and hobbies.

What are the Expert Opinions?

The founding director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center, Dr. Peter Lio, claims that once we identify and detect this Eczema, most patients get better within seven to ten days.

Moreover, even in those for whom this is a sign of their underlying atopic dermatitis, the nummular element appears to disappear fast, and then we can return to general therapy.

What is Mild Nummular Eczema?

Although the nummular category may get extreme, there is also a milder form. The mild nummular eczema is relatively moderate and manifests minimal symptoms and impacts.

Individuals may experience minor, coin-shaped patches of irritated skin that are less inflamed and mild compared to moderate or severe cases. The affected areas may be mildly itchy or uncomfortable, but the itching is manageable and does not interfere significantly with daily life.

This mild eczema may present as red, scaly patches and are slightly raised or rough to the touch. These patches may come and go, with
periods of remission where the skin appears relatively normal.


To conclude, nummular eczema represents small, coin-shaped patches of irritated skin. While it can be challenging to manage, with proper treatment and lifestyle modifications, individuals with nummular eczema can experience relief from symptoms and improve their quality of life. Although the case might get severe, there is a mild eczema. This type exhibits less extensive symptoms and wards off quickly.

If you experience any symptoms of this eczema, enroll in clinical trials today to help find potential treatments. These trials offer a chance to

explore cutting-edge clinical trials and help clinical research teams discover optimal and effective treatment options to aid humanity. Therefore, make your contribution and enroll in clinical trials today.


MetroBoston Clinical Partners is a well established and experienced research center in the greater Boston area. Under the leadership of qualified physicians and medical professionals, we coordinate a range of clinical research trials in Dermatology and Internal Medicine.

Leave a Reply