Nummular Eczema (Nummular Dermatitis) - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Nummular eczema is a form of eczema where coin-shaped lesions appear on the skin. They typically appear anywhere on the skin and typically become worse when the skin becomes drier. 


Nummular eczema, also known as nummular dermatitis, is a skin condition in which round patches of eczema appear on the skin. The lesions are itchy and resistant to treatment. Nummular eczema typically affects adults and is more common on the arms and legs but trunk lesions can occur as well.


The cause for nummular eczema is not known but it is associated with dry skin and a poorly functioning skin barrier. This leads to skin that is more easily irritated. The reason behind why the lesions become round or coin-shaped is not known. 



Treatment for nummular eczema is difficult and focuses on relieving the itch with use of topical and systemic medications. Another goal is to repair the skin barrier with the frequent use of skin moisturizers.

A qualified healthcare provider may prescribe any one of the following medications.


  • Topical steroids
  • Topical tacrolimus and pimecrolimus 

Systemic (in patients that do not respond well to topical treatments):

  • Oral or injectable steroids
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Strong immune modulating medications such as methotrexate or cyclosporine can be used in severe cases