Nummular dermatitis is a type of skin disorder that is identified by the formation of itchy bumps. These skin anomalies have the distinct circular shape of a coin.‘Nummular dermatitis’ word is drawn from the Latin word ‘nummus’ meaning the coin. Nummular dermatitis is also called as nummular eczema, as well as discoid dermatitis.
Even though nummular dermatitis occursin people of all age groups, and affects both the genders, it is generally found in people above the age of sixty. The symptoms of nummular dermatitis are more active in winter season and the people affected by nummular dermatitis are at the risk of developing other types of dermatitis.
Nummular dermatitis can attack any part of the body. However it generally occurs on legs, arms, and buttocks. Nummular dermatitis is not contagious, and cannot spread from one person to another via direct or indirect contact with a patient. It may however be noted that the condition tends to be persistent, with long periods of remission followed by regular flare ups.
Symptoms of nummular dermatitis
The following are some of the symptoms of nummular dermatitis:
- The patches of nummular dermatitis skin rashes have demarcated borders. In appearance they may be brownish, red, or pinkishby color.The rashes also have elevated surface,appear blistered and dry, and may elicit cracked skin patches.
- Nummular dermatitis may not result in excessive discomfort, but it can cause itchiness. Adjacent areas of skinnormally remain healthy, but may remain dry and irritable.
- Though nummular dermatitis can affect any part of the body, it usually occurs on the lower leg in patches and remain for several weeks and even months.
- Nummular dermatitis lesions are normally oval or round shaped. The size of the abnormal patches may vary from 2mm in diameter upto many centimeters.
- In severe cases of nummular dermatitis, it may spread all over the body, and form several small and large-sized patches
- After healing, the affected skin does not bear any scar marks. However the pigmented skin marks may remain for many months, which may elicit a darker or lighter shade, when compared to the adjacent skin area.
- The nummular dermatitis patches, in due course of time, form ring like structure. The center of the patches may have clear, clean skin, similar to the abnormal ringworm skin lesions. Sometimes, these lesions may ooze fluids.
Causes of nummular dermatitis
The cause of nummular dermatitis is not known, and it is still a subject of study and research.The skin disorder develops in both wet and dry forms.
- The skin anomalies associated with nummular dermatitis may be triggered due to increased sensitivity of skin to bacterial infections or other types of germs, or by the consumption of certain drugs such as isotretinoin.
- The cold winter weather can aid the development of dry skin, which in turn can prompt and cause the formation of dry, non-itchy, circular patches of nummular dermatitis.
- Few children with atopic dermatitis can also get the condition
- The nummular dermatitis skin disordercan also be triggered via a minor skin crack or injury, insect bite or sting, etc.
- The abnormal skin patches that occur on the veins of leg are called as varicose nummular dermatitis
- It has been found that most of the nummular dermatitis cases have not been developed due to inherited causes, or due to the presence of infectious conditions, or as a part of allergic reactions. It is also not a contagious condition as it cannot spread from person to person via contact.
- The patches of nummular dermatitis may invite bacterial infections and thus result in secondary infections.
- The nummular dermatitis cases can get worse with the excess use of soaps and detergents, certain types of medications, excessive consumption of caffeine, increased number of hot baths, increasingly dry skin, stress, and wearing tight woolen clothes
Nummular dermatitis treatment
- Maintaining a moisturized skin is the best way to treat nummular dermatitis. It is also essential to avoid all possible triggers which may result in the skin disorder
- Secondary infections of the nummular dermatitis patches such as bacterial/germs infections are treated by antibiotics.
- Using emollients can give relief to scaling, dry skin, itchiness and burning sensations. For extreme cases of discomfort and irritation, topical steroids can be used to provide relief
- Just like the causes of nummular dermatitis, the remedial medicines for the skin conditionare also in research stage. At present the treatment for nummular dermatitis involves managing and reducing the signs of the skin disorder.Treatment of the disease also includes diagnosis of other underlying conditions which may be causing the skin rashes, and remedial measures to treat those pre-existing abnormalities.
- Antihistamines can be made use of to control the extreme cases of itching.
- In certain cases of numular dermatitis, it has been observed that light therapy for a longer periods controls the effects of nummular dermatiti
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