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Eczema types: Nummular dermatitis signs & 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.

A patch of nummular dermatitis on a patient's ankle.

Nummular dermatitis patch

A patch of nummular dermatitis on a patient's ankle.

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 irritated. 

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

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Leo Pharma, Inc.


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