What is discoid eczema?

This is a type of eczema which is most common in middle age. This type of eczema presents with "coin" shaped lesions mainly seen on the arms and legs. The condition usually clears within a few weeks but tends to recur. The patches may become infected. Another name for this condition is nummular eczema - nummular meaning coin-shaped.

What causes discoid eczema?

Eczema is an inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). This inflammation occurs as the immune system of these patients is extra sensitive to various stimuli. Like all other types of eczema this is a reaction pattern to a variety of stimuli, some of which are recognized but many of which are unknown.

What are the features of discoid eczema?

  • Circular (coin shaped, sized and symmetrical), red, very itchy patches
  • Typically starts on the legs but may be found on the arms and trunk. (Rarely seen on the face and scalp)
  • The number of patches may vary from two or three to many more in severe cases
  • The skin is generally dry but may be normal in the areas between the patches

How can discoid eczema be treated?

  • Skin rehydration with emollients (moisturisers)
  • Topical steroidsAntihistamines to help with itching
  • Topical antibiotics for infected patches
  • Other: If the irritating stimulus is known avoid it, stress and psychological factors may exacerbate eczema

For more sources of information/ help click on the links below: