Nummular dermatitis: Signs and symptoms

Patches on the skin tend to begin as a group of tiny, reddish spots and blister-like sores that weep fluid. Then the sores enlarge and grow together to form a coin-shaped patch.

The patches tend to have these signs and symptoms:

  • Range in size from smaller than 1 inch to bigger than 4 inches.
  • Occur most often on the legs but also occur on the torso (middle of the body), arms, hands, and feet.
  • Be pink, red, or brown and well-defined.
  • Itch and burn: These symptoms range from very mild to severe. The itch may be worse at night, disturbing sleep.
  • Become crusty after the blisters leak fluid and, after a long time, become scaly.

A yellowish crust may develop on the patches if a Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infection occurs. This may require treatment with an antibiotic.

The skin between the patches often remains clear, but it can be dry and easily irritate.

                Nummular dermatitis rash on handsNummular dermatitis: Blisters can form and grow together to create red patches.
               Nummular dermatitis on ankleNummular dermatitis: A patch of nummular dermatitis on a patient's ankle.

Learn more about nummular dermatitis:

Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

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