woman scratching her shoulder

What is Discoid Eczema?

Discoid eczema is one of the many different forms of eczema. It is also known as nummular or discoid dermatitis, after the latin word “nummulus”. This is because its prime feature is a distinctive ‘coin-shaped’ patch that appears on the skin.

Causing the skin to become extremely itchy and uncomfortable, it can develop in a person at any age, though it tends to be found more commonly in men than in women. It also has a tendency to disappear for a while only to reappear again, often in the same area that was affected previously.

In this post, we’ll explore the symptoms and causes of discoid eczema and share ways you or your loved one can naturally treat this skin condition.

Please keep in mind that although these what we discuss in this post can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.

What is Discoid Eczema?

Discoid eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition characterized by skin that is swollen and cracked in circular patches. Though these itchy patches can appear anywhere on the body, they usually don’t affect the face or scalp. Prime spots to be affected are the lower legs, hands, and forearms, and sometimes the trunk.

What does Nummular Eczema Look Like?

The first sign of discoid eczema is a group of small bumps on the skin. These then join up to form larger patches than can vary in size from just a few millimetres to several centimetres. Although you may just have one patch of discoid eczema, it’s more common to have several.

The patches often appear swollen or covered with small blisters that can ooze a clear liquid. Over time, they can become dry, flaky, or crusty. Because the centre of the patch can sometimes be clear, leaving a ring of discoloured skin, discoid eczema can be mistaken for ringworm.

Common symptoms:

  • Coin-shaped lesions on arms, legs, torso or hands
  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Lesions that are oozing liquid or have crusted over

Discoid Eczema Causes

While the exact cause of discoid eczema is unknown, one thing is certain: it is not contagious, and cannot be “caught” by touching an affected person or being near them.

It may be linked to having particularly dry skin as it tends to develop more often during the colder, winter months when humidity levels are lower. This is because dry skin cannot effectively provide a barrier against substances it comes into contact with in the same way that properly hydrated skin can. This makes it more prone to irritation when subjected to generally harmless substances such as soaps, laundry detergents, fragrances, and rough fabric.

Learn more about what triggers eczema in our post Eczema 102: What Triggers Eczema?

How to Treat Discoid Eczema

Thankfully, there are several natural discoid eczema treatments you can use to find relief for this itchy skin condition.

To start with, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated. We recommend this Baby and Adult Soother if your skin is itchy and dry. It’s great for soothing rashes and calming inflammation. Made with Chinese herbs, it’s gentle enough for adults and babies.

Another effective treatment for blistered and oozing skin is this Hot Skin Soother. It relieves irritation and can help prevent infection by calming your skin before you succumb to the urge to scratch.

To prevent further irritating your skin from constantly scratching, wearing protective clothing is a must. All clothing from the RemedywearLine is composed of TENCEL with anti-inflammatory zinc. Made without latex, nylon, or nickel, you can rest assured that all clothing is hypoallergenic to ensure lasting comfort.

Some of our favourite pieces to bring you comfort include:

Long Sleeve Shirt - Adults

Long Sleeve Shirt - Kids

Remedywear Pants - Adult

Remedywear Pants - Kids

You can also relieve inflamed patches through wet or dry wrap therapy. This involves layering a natural eczema cream with a wet or dry layer overtop. For an intense moisture boost and quick healing, try our Remedywear bandages. They’re perfect to spot treat areas that need it most - especially the elbows, forearms, upper arms, and behind the knees, calves, and thighs.

Tips on Preventing Discoid Eczema

  • Bathe or shower in lukewarm water instead of hot, as hot water can exacerbate your symptoms
  • Always moisturize after your skin comes into contact with water
  • Keep nails short and clean to reduce harm from scratching and prevent infection






Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.