Nummular eczema is also known as nummular dermatitis, microbial eczema, discoid eczema, gravitational eczema, and nummular neurodermatitis. As many name this disease has, it is still just one of the many types of dermatitis. The name nummular is derived from the Latin language which means coin because of its general shape and appearance.
Signs and Symptoms
Nummular eczema is a chronic dermal disease. It is recurring with occasional flare-ups triggered by external and internal factors. Anyone can acquire this disease, young or old, but mostly older people aging 60 years old and above are affected. While the disease may look “dirty”, it is not contagious. There is no evidence that it is genetically acquired and not associated with food.
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of the disease:
1. Signs of inflammation such as redness, warm to touch, pallor, and tenderness
2. Edge of affected area is well-defined
3. Days later, blisters, crusts, and scales are present
4. Symmetrical appearance
5. Urticuria (Intense itching)
6. Uncontrolled scratching
7. Thick skin due to dermal hypertrophy brought by constant itching
8. Burning and tingling sensation
9. Sleep disturbances because itching is more intense at night
10. Legs are the most affected, though other parts of the body can be affected.
The exact cause of nummular eczema is still unknown. As this might be the case there are theories formulated on what causes it. It is very difficult for scientists to fully understand the disease but some of causative factors are identified to trigger the development of the disease.
1. Bite of an insect
3. Skin disease
4. Other disease processes – some diseases that affects the hormonal balance and the integumentary system.
5. Mental and psychological problems
Because of the difficulty of learning about the exact cause of the disease, there are some misconceptions about it emerged. It is not true that nummular eczema is linked to allergies. Even genetic or hereditary predisposition does not have something to do with it. In most cases, people who have atopic eczema can also develop nummular eczema or vice versa. People who have problems with their circulatory and cardiovascular systems may make the disease worse.
Looking at the disease without any prior knowledge of it may make nummular eczema hard to diagnose. But with the right training, skilled clinical eye, physical assessment, and laboratory exams, an accurate diagnosis can be established. Skin sample by scraping a lesion is needed to rule out other skin disease. During the course of nummular eczema, secondary infection might occur because of altered skin integrity. In this case, a biopsy will be ordered.