It is no secret that eczema comes in many different shapes and sizes, with each form of the skin condition manifesting in unique ways.
Discoid eczema (otherwise known as nummular eczema and discoid dermatitis) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by itchy patches of eczema which develop in coin-shaped formations across the body.
Similar to many other forms of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis, discoid eczema is a long-term condition requiring continual symptom management to prevent regular flare ups.
Throughout this blog we’re going to cover everything you need to know about:
- The main symptoms of discoid dermatitis
- The cause of discoid eczema
- How to treat discoid eczema naturally and effectively
Keep reading to learn more about whether you might be living with discoid eczema today, gaining a better understanding of how to tackle and soothe your symptoms.
What Does Discoid Eczema Look Like?
There are many tell-tale signs that you might be experiencing discoid eczema. Some common symptoms include:
- Circular or oval patches or scaly plaques of eczmea with a weepy yellow ‘crust’.
- For people with dark skin tones, these patches may appear ashen grey, dark brown, or purplish, while people with lighter skin may experience red or pinkish plaques.
- Unlike with other types of eczmea such as atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis, patches of discoid skin inflammation tend to have well-defined edges, ranging from 2-10cm in diameter.
- Discoid eczema patches are most common tend on the lower legs, hands, and forearms, however they can appear anywhere on the body.
- In more severe cases, people with discoid eczema may notice their rash patches ooze fluid, sting, or burn due to very dry skin, cracks, or bleeding, leaving you at risk of bacterial infection.
- Constant scratching of eczema patches may also lead to a condition called lichenification, which is where the outer layer of your skin gets overgrown as skin cells overproduce.
Spot The Difference: Discoid Eczema and Tinea Corporis
Discoid eczema is often mistaken for a fungal infection called tinea corporis – which is a skin condition that causes well-defined skin rash patches.
Unlike with nummular dermatitis, however, ringworm fungal infections tend to form circular patches that are lighter in the center, creating characteristic rings on the skin.
What’s The Cause of Discoid Eczema?
Unfortunately, there is no singular cause of discoid eczema, and triggers will likely differ from person to person.
We know that many types of eczema are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In the case of discoid dermatitis, flares might be driven by irritating chemicals in your soaps or laundry detergent, a contact allergy, or even sudden changes in the weather which can exacerbate skin dryness.
Who Is Most At Risk?
You are more likely to develop discoid eczema if you already have sensitive skin, live in cold climates, or have a family history of other eczema types.
For unknown reasons, nummular eczema tends to most often affect men over 50 and women over 30.
How To Treat Discoid Eczema Naturally
With many types of eczema, treatment tends to center around two main goals:
- Boosting skin hydration to tackle dryness
- Breaking the itch-scratch cycle
No matter whether you’re dealing with atopic eczema, contact dermatitis, or discoid eczema, there are thankfully many safe and effective treatment options out there to help you get a handle on your itchy flare ups and to reduce inflammation.
One of the best ways to stop your discoid eczema getting worse is to get into the habit of moisturizing your affected skin twice daily. We’d recommend finding a moisturizer that’s free from all the irritating chemicals that could trigger your sensitive skin.
For intensive treatment, this Hot Skin Soother has been made to help soothe even the most severe symptoms, including cracked, burning, or swollen skin. Made using safe, natural herbs, this creamy balm also combats topical bacteria, yeast, and fungi, helping to ensure your eczema plaques don’t develop any nasty secondary infections.
If you’ve got particularly dry skin, don’t be afraid to lather moisturizer onto affected scaly patches as soon as you get out the shower or bath to help your skin lock-in extra moisture and hydrating goodness.
Don’t forget to do patch testing with any products that you’re using for the very first time.
Wear Anti-Itch Clothing
It can feel almost impossible sometimes to resist the urge to scratch your eczema, but we know that scratching can actually make your discoid eczema worse, causing minor skin injury whenever the skin tears or bleeds.
One of the best things you can do to help give your body the proper chance it needs to heal, therefore, is to find clothing made from hypoallergenic, anti-itch materials that will allow your skin to breathe.
The Remedywear™ (TENCEL + Zinc) Long Sleeve Shirt for Adults and Kids and the Remedywear™ Pants for Adults and Kids offer full-body relief from incessant itching. That’s because they’re made from soft silky TENCEL™ with anti-bacterial zinc to create the best eczema clothing that can be worn all day or all night for soothing relief.
When Is It Time To See The Doctor?
If your discoid eczema symptoms persist even after home-treatment, or your symptoms begin to get more severe, we’d urge you to reach out to a dermatologist to seek medical advice.
In severe cases, your doctor might prescribe other treatments such as light therapy, topical steroids, steroid injections, or a topical antibiotic to fight any secondary skin conditions and reduce itching.
It is important to remember that discoid eczema is a chronic condition, meaning that it may require life-long symptom management. Due to this, it’s helpful to inform your doctor if you think you might have eczema of any kind so that they can help you find the right treatment plan for your unique situation.
Soothe your Discoid Eczema Today
Follow these tips to help you recognize your discoid eczema and to begin treating your symptoms today, rehydrating patches of eczema and fighting inflamed skin to restore your skin to health.