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What is nummular dermatitis?

Nummular dermatitis, which is also called nummular eczematous dermatitis or nummular eczema, generally affects the hands, arms, legs, and buttocks of men and women older than 55 years of age. This stubborn inflamed rash forms circular, sometimes itchy, patches and is characterized by flares and periods of inactivity.

An eruption may begin with one or numerous round red plaques with tiny overlying blisters. The plaques often enlarge to several centimeters with clearly marked edges, and overlying scale may be prominent. Swelling and oozing occur in newer lesions and itching can be mild to severe.

The parts of the body most commonly involved are the legs and buttocks, although the trunk and arms can be affected. Individual spots are quite persistent and after clearing may recur in the same location. Nummular dermatitis can resolve completely, though typically it persists for years. Flare-ups most often occur during the winter months, although humid summers can aggravate the condition.

Diagnosis is usually based on a visual examination. Sometimes a skin biopsy is obtained to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other disorders. Bath oils and emollients are important in the daily management of nummular dermatitis. Topical corticosteroids and tar preparations reduce the itch and inflammation. When itch is severe, oral antihistamines can help. Moisturizers and control of dryness help minimize the frequency and severity of the disorder.

More information on dermatitis

What is dermatitis? - Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin irritation characterized by red, flaky skin, sometimes with cracks or tiny blisters.
Types of dermatitis - There are several different types of dermatitis and these have different causes. The most common ones are related to allergies.
Contact dermatitis - Contact dermatitis is a dermatitis which is caused by something in the outside world which comes into contact with the skin.
Atopic dermatitis - Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, itchy skin condition that is very common in children but may occur at any age. It is also known as eczema and atopic eczema.
Seborrheic dermatitis - Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory condition of the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic, recurring scaly rash involving the face, ears, eyebrows, scalp, and the chest.
Nummular dermatitis - Nummular dermatitis (nummular eczematous dermatitis or nummular eczema) affects the hands, arms, legs, and buttocks of men and women older than 55 years of age.
Causes of dermatitis - Each type of dermatitis has different causes. Atopic dermatitis is caused by allergies, asthma. Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by overproduction of the oil glands.
Treatments of dermatitis - Dermatitis is often treated with prescribed cortisone creams and lotions. Treating contact dermatitis begins with eliminating or avoiding the source of irritation.
Prevention of dermatitis - The most effective method of dealing with any type of dermatitis risk is through prevention. Contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding the source of irritation. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005