Understanding Discoid Eczema
Following a healthy diet and exercising are both important tasks if you want to be healthy and happy. However, certain conditions may still arise, affecting the look and health of your body. Eczema is a common condition of the skin that affects an estimated 31.6 million people in the United States alone. You may be surprised to learn that there are numerous types of this skin disorder, all having their own signs, causes, and treatment options.
Discoid eczema may not be one of the most common forms of this skin disorder, but it may affect you, your children, or other members of your family, so proper understanding is key. This guide will help you understand the causes, signs, and treatment options for discoid eczema.
One of the first things you should know is that discoid eczema may be caused by a variety of issues, but the exact causes are not known. In most cases, discoid eczema affects people who have dry skin or sensitive skin that can be irritated by different soaps, lotions, and chemicals. Many medications are also linked with discoid eczema. If you are currently taking acne medication, you will have a higher risk of developing this skin condition.
Dry skin that occurs during the winter season may also cause you to develop discoid eczema. Many people develop this form of eczema during the winter months only, even though they do not have dry skin throughout the rest of the year.
Discoid eczema is also known as nummular dermatitis or nummular eczema. Nummulus is a Latin word for "coin," giving this form of eczema its name, since the main sign of this disorder is the presence of coin-shaped discs on the skin.
The coin-shaped discs may be red and scaly. They can actually be completely round or have a more oval shape. On the surface of these discs, you may notice scales or a yellowish crust.
Most people will feel an intense desire to scratch the discs and areas of skin around the patches. This itchiness can lead to dangerous infections. If the discs on the skin become irritated and inflamed from scratching, they can become infected. An infection will lead to pus building up and seeping out of the top of the scaly discs.
Continuous itching of the discs can cause an overgrowth of the skin's outer layer. This overgrowth causes the skin to thicken, creating an appearance that resembles leathery tree bark.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for discoid eczema, but you can manage the symptoms and ease your discomfort.
Bathing in cool or lukewarm water that is free of soaps and shower gel can ease the inflammation and itchiness. If you have discoid eczema, you should dry off your skin after bathing and showering before applying a good-quality moisturizer to the skin. This will ensure your skin is not only clean, but also properly moisturized. Keeping the skin clean is imperative for preventing flare-ups of eczema. Your dermatologist may also suggest prescription emollients. These creams and lotions moisturize the skin safely, preventing dryness and cracking of the skin.
In severe cases, more involved care may be necessary to reduce inflammation and itchiness. Oral steroids and even injections of steroids into the affected skin may be necessary for relief. If you have developed an infection because of the irritation, prescription antibiotics will also be administered. These medications are essential for preventing the infection from spreading.
Living with eczema is possible, but it can be uncomfortable. If you are dealing with discoid eczema, consult your dermatologist for more information on prevention and eczema treatment.