Numular Dermatitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Numular Dermatitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Numular Dermatitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis is a chronic skin disorder that causes circular, coin-like patches to appear. These patches are itchy and have a rough surface, but are not contagious

Numular dermatitis (nummular dermatitis) usually appears after damage to the surface of the skin, such as burns, friction, or insect bites. This disorder can last for weeks, months, even years, and can come back.

Numular dermatitis - allodokter

Although it appears more often in the leg area, discoid eczema can occur anywhere on the body. Nummular dermatitis is more common in men aged 55–65 years.

Causes of Numular Dermatitis

The exact cause of nummular dermatitis is unknown. Even so, most cases of nummular dermatitis are thought to occur due to patients having very dry skin conditions (xerosis) and sensitivity to certain substances, such as:

  • Metals, including nickel and mercury
  • Formaldehyde or formalin, which is widely used in the manufacture of building materials and household products, for example for the manufacture of glues, coatings, or fabrics
  • Drugs, especially antibiotics that are applied to the skin, such as neomycin

In addition to the above conditions, the following risk factors also make a person more susceptible to nummular dermatitis:

  • Male and over 50 years old
  • Has sensitive skin that gets irritated easily due to the use of cleaning products, cosmetics or rough-textured clothing
  • Suffer or have a family member with a history of allergies, asthma, or atopic dermatitis
  • Has conditions that cause obstructed blood circulation, especially in the legs, such as varicose veins and diabetes
  • Experienced minor skin injuries, such as insect bites, burns, or scratches by sharp objects
  • Consuming certain drugs, such as isotretinoin, interferon, or cholesterol drugs of the statin class
  • Living in a dry or cold climate

In addition, stress and changes in air temperature due to exposure to the sun or cold winds can also trigger nummular dermatitis.

Symptoms of Numular Dermatitis

The main symptom of nummular dermatitis is raised patches (patches) on the surface of the skin. These patches are shaped like coins with a rough texture, brown or reddish in color. In some cases, the center of the patch can look clean, making it look like ringworm.

Before it becomes a prominent spot, nummular dermatitis begins with the appearance of small red spots on the skin. These spots then merge into larger circles (spots). These patches can swell, blister, and ooze fluid.

Spots of nummular dermatitis will sting like burning and very itchy, especially at night. Most sufferers feel the appearance of several spots and only a few find one spot.

Discoid eczema, or also known as discoid dermatitis, can occur in any area of ​​the body. However, this dermatitis is more common on the legs. While the parts that rarely experience discoid eczema are the face and scalp.

Discoid eczema that is left untreated can cause a bacterial infection. This situation can be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Blotches turn yellowish
  • There is a lot of fluid coming out of the spot
  • The skin around the patches is inflamed (swelling, heat, and pain)
  • Happy

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you experience the symptoms of nummular dermatitis mentioned above. A doctor's examination is needed so that this disorder can be treated as early as possible and to prevent complications.

Follow regular employee medical check-ups provided by the company, if the job has a high risk of causing you to be exposed to chemicals, such as formalin or mercury.

Numular Dermatitis Diagnosis

The doctor will ask the patient's complaints and symptoms, as well as trace the history of the disease that the patient and his family have suffered. After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination by observing the area of ​​​​the skin that has nummular dermatitis.

In some cases, the examination is sufficient to determine the diagnosis and treatment. However, often the symptoms of nummular dermatitis are similar to other skin diseases, such as ringworm, proriasis, or contact dermatitis, so it needs to be confirmed by another examination because the treatment is different.

A number of supporting examinations that can be done to confirm the diagnosis of skin disorders that occur are:

  • Skin scrapingThis examination is done by scraping the surface of the skin affected by dermatitis to see the presence of fungi. The goal is to differentiate this disease from ringworm.

  • Patch allergy testingThe trick is to put some substance on the skin, for example nickel metal. Allergy testing is done if the patient is suspected of having allergies.

  • Skin BiopsySkin biopsy is performed by taking a small sample of skin tissue from the affected area, then examining it under the objective. happen.

Numular Dermatitis Treatment

Numular dermatitis treatment aims to relieve symptoms and keep symptoms under control. This can be done with the following treatment methods:

Self care

Patients can perform treatment independently to reduce symptoms and speed up treatment. The trick is to:

  • Do not wear clothes with materials that can trigger allergies, such as wool or knitted materials
  • Avoid exposure to substances that can trigger dermatitis, for example by not using soaps that contain perfumes, detergents, or fragrances and fabric softeners
  • Wearing gloves when in contact with substances or materials that can cause irritation, such as household cleaning products
  • Applying skin moisturizer or emollient on dry skin areas
  • Do not shower or bathe for too long, especially when using warm water
  • Manage stress well, for example with meditation or yoga


Some drugs to treat nummular dermatitis can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription. The drugs are:

  • Corticosteroids

    Topical corticosteroids are the most commonly used drugs to treat nummular dermatitis. This drug works to reduce inflammation and reduce irritation in the area of ​​​​the patch. Corticosteroids in tablet or injection form can also be given in more severe cases.

  • Antihistamines

    Antihistamine drugs (allergy itching medication), such as cetirizine, can relieve itching and discomfort on the skin.

  • Antibiotics

    Antibiotics, such as erythromycin, can be given if infection also occurs. This drug can stop the growth of bacteria that cause infection.

Other drugs, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, or ciclosporin, may also be given. However, these drugs can cause serious side effects, so their use needs to be monitored by a dermatologist.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation therapy

Therapy with UV rays can be done when discoid eczema is severe enough and treatment with drugs does not give maximum results. This therapy is done several times a week, for 2-3 months, to reduce the severity of symptoms and speed up healing.

Discoid eczema can generally be controlled with a number of the above treatments, but the potential for recurrence remains. In most patients, these patches of nummular dermatitis can disappear completely without leaving a mark on the skin.

However, in some people, these patches can leave scars in the form of skin discoloration.

Numular Dermatitis Complications

There are several complications that can arise due to nummular dermatitis, including:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Permanent skin discoloration in the area of ​​dermatitis
  • Sleep disorders and difficulty concentrating
  • Permanent scars on the dermatitis area
  • Cellulitis

Numular Dermatitis Prevention

Numular dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding the triggers. The way that can be done is:

  • Keep skin hydrated, for example diligently applying moisturizer, especially after bathing
  • Using cosmetic products or cleaning products that are gentle and do not have the potential to irritate or dry out the skin
  • Not bathing or soaking in water for too long, especially with warm water
  • Using loose-fitting clothes with materials that absorb sweat, such as cotton
  • Comply with work safety rules and standards, especially in areas where there are a lot of chemicals
  • Manage stress well, for example with meditation or yoga
  • Live a he althy lifestyle, by implementing a balanced nutritious diet and exercising regularly

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