Nummular Dermatitis

Nummular dermatitis is a form of dermatitis that appears on the skin as round or oval-shaped itchy lesions. These lesions may become crusty and may ooze.

There is no known cause of nummular dermatitis; however, it is believed to be associated with allergic reactions to various environmental elements.

What are the symptoms?

Nummular dermatitis appears as round lesions on the body often on the arms or legs. These lesions range in size from 1” to larger than 4”. Nummular dermatitis is characterized by pink, red or brown lesions that are scaly and inflamed. Other symptoms include:

Lesions that weep
Lesions that resemble ringworm
Lesions that itch and burn, especially at night
If a staph infection develops, the nummular dermatitis lesion may crust and turn yellowish.

Who gets it?

Those with a greater likelihood to contract nummular dermatitis include those who:

Have a personal or family history of allergies
Have a personal or family history of asthma
Have a personal or family history of atopic dermatitis
Have sensitive skin that is easily irritated
Live in cold, dry climates
Have circulatory problems
Have chronic dry skin
Males, 55-65 years old
Females, 15-25 years old

Treatment Options

One of the keys to treatment and prevention of nummular dermatitis involves keeping the skin moisturized. Lotions, creams, and bath oils may help prevent an outbreak. If the condition flares up, a common treatment involves the application of topical corticosteroids. Oral antihistamines may help lessen itching. More severe cases sometimes respond to ultraviolet light treatment.

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