Understanding Nummular Psoriasis: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

April 12, 2024

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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Nummular psoriasis, also known as discoid psoriasis, presents with distinct coin-shaped lesions on the skin. This comprehensive guide from Mirari Doctor empowers you with knowledge about nummular psoriasis, aiding informed decisions about your health. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and management of this condition is crucial for maintaining your overall well-being and quality of life.

What is Nummular Psoriasis? Unveiling the Coin-Shaped Skin Condition

Nummular psoriasis is a type of psoriasis characterized by round or oval patches on the skin, resembling coins. These lesions are typically well-defined, red, and scaly. They can appear on various parts of the body, including the arms, legs, torso, and scalp.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the rapid growth and buildup of skin cells, resulting in the formation of scaly patches. In the case of nummular psoriasis, these patches take on a distinct coin-like shape. The exact cause of this specific presentation is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

It’s important to note that nummular psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot catch it from or spread it to another person through physical contact. However, the condition can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, both physically and emotionally.

If you suspect that you may have nummular psoriasis, it’s essential to consult with a dermatologist. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your symptoms effectively. With proper care and management, it is possible to minimize the impact of nummular psoriasis on your daily life.

Causes of Nummular Psoriasis: The Puzzling Why Behind the Coin Lesions

The exact cause of nummular psoriasis remains unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors plays a role in its development. Like other forms of psoriasis, nummular psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, leading to inflammation and the formation of lesions.

Possible Triggers for Nummular Psoriasis Flare-Ups

While the underlying cause of nummular psoriasis is not fully understood, certain factors have been identified as potential triggers for flare-ups. These triggers can vary from person to person, but some common ones include:

  1. Skin injuries: Trauma to the skin, such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites, or burns, can trigger the development of nummular psoriasis lesions at the site of the injury. This phenomenon is known as the Koebner response.
  2. Infections: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can sometimes precede the onset of nummular psoriasis or exacerbate existing symptoms. Streptococcal throat infections, in particular, have been linked to the development of guttate psoriasis, another type of psoriasis that can coexist with nummular lesions.
  3. Stress: Emotional stress is a well-known trigger for various types of psoriasis, including nummular psoriasis. “While the exact cause of psoriasis flare-ups is unknown, stress can be a significant contributor,” says Dr. [Name], a dermatologist.
  4. Medications: Certain medications, such as beta-blockers, lithium, and antimalarial drugs, have been associated with the onset or worsening of psoriasis symptoms.
  5. Environmental factors: Cold weather, low humidity, and excessive sun exposure can all contribute to the drying and irritation of the skin, potentially triggering nummular psoriasis flare-ups.

It’s important to keep in mind that triggers can be highly individual. What causes a flare-up in one person may have no effect on another. Keeping a symptom diary and working closely with your dermatologist can help you identify your personal triggers and develop strategies to avoid or manage them.

Symptoms of Nummular Psoriasis: Recognizing the Signs

The primary symptom of nummular psoriasis is the appearance of coin-shaped, red, scaly patches on the skin. These lesions are typically:

  • Round or oval in shape
  • Well-defined, with clear borders
  • Red and inflamed
  • Covered with silvery-white scales
  • Itchy or painful

The size of the lesions can vary, ranging from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter. They may appear isolated or in clusters, and can develop on any part of the body, although they are most commonly found on the:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Torso
  • Scalp

In some cases, the lesions may crack or ooze, leading to discomfort and an increased risk of infection. Nummular psoriasis can also be associated with other symptoms, such as:

The severity of nummular psoriasis can vary from person to person and may fluctuate over time. Some people may experience mild, localized symptoms, while others may have more widespread and severe manifestations of the condition.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult with a dermatologist. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment for your individual case.

Distinguishing Nummular Psoriasis from Look-Alikes: Eczema, Ringworm, and More

Nummular psoriasis can sometimes be mistaken for other skin conditions that present with similar-looking lesions. This is why it’s essential to receive a proper diagnosis from a dermatologist. They have the expertise to differentiate between various skin disorders and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Some conditions that may resemble nummular psoriasis include:

  1. Eczema: Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and red patches on the skin. While eczema can have a similar appearance to nummular psoriasis, it tends to have less well-defined borders and may be accompanied by more intense itching.
  2. Ringworm: Despite its name, ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, not a parasitic worm. It can cause circular, red, scaly patches that may be confused with nummular psoriasis. However, ringworm lesions typically have a clear center and a more raised, defined edge.
  3. Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition primarily affects the scalp, causing red, scaly patches and dandruff. When it appears on the body, it can resemble nummular psoriasis. However, seborrheic dermatitis tends to have a greasier appearance and is more likely to occur in oil-prone areas like the face, chest, and back.
  4. Pityriasis rosea: This benign skin condition causes a temporary rash of oval-shaped, scaly patches. It often begins with a single large patch called a herald patch, followed by the appearance of smaller lesions. Pityriasis rosea typically resolves on its own within several weeks to months.
  5. Tinea versicolor: This fungal infection causes small, discolored patches on the skin that may be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. While the patches can be scaly, they are usually smaller and more numerous than those seen in nummular psoriasis.

To accurately diagnose nummular psoriasis, a dermatologist will carefully examine your skin, taking into account the appearance, location, and distribution of the lesions. They may also ask about your medical history, family history of psoriasis, and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be performed to rule out other conditions and confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosing Nummular Psoriasis: Getting a Clear Picture

Diagnosing nummular psoriasis involves a thorough evaluation by a dermatologist. During the diagnostic process, your dermatologist will:

  1. Examine your skin: The dermatologist will carefully assess the appearance, location, and distribution of the skin lesions. They will look for the characteristic coin-shaped, red, scaly patches associated with nummular psoriasis.
  2. Review your medical history: Your dermatologist will ask about your medical history, including any personal or family history of psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, or other skin conditions. They may inquire about recent illnesses, injuries, or stressors that could have triggered the onset of symptoms.
  3. Consider a biopsy: In some cases, a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. During this procedure, a small sample of skin is removed and examined under a microscope to look for characteristic features of psoriasis, such as thickened skin and an increased number of skin cells.

Once a diagnosis of nummular psoriasis is confirmed, your dermatologist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan based on the severity and extent of your condition, as well as your personal preferences and lifestyle factors.

Treatment Options for Nummular Psoriasis: Managing the Coin Lesions

Treatment for nummular psoriasis aims to reduce inflammation, relieve symptoms, and improve the appearance of the skin. The specific treatment approach will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to various therapies. Some common treatment options include:

  1. Topical corticosteroids: These prescription creams or ointments, such as betamethasone or triamcinolone, help reduce inflammation and itching. They are often the first-line treatment for mild to moderate nummular psoriasis.
  2. Moisturizers: Regular use of moisturizing creams or ointments can help soothe dry, itchy skin and reduce the appearance of scales. Look for products that are fragrance-free and specifically formulated for sensitive or psoriatic skin.
  3. Phototherapy: Also known as light therapy, phototherapy involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light. Ultraviolet B (UVB) light, in particular, can help slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. This treatment is typically administered in a dermatologist’s office or with a home phototherapy unit.
  4. Oral medications: For severe or widespread nummular psoriasis that doesn’t respond to topical treatments or phototherapy, oral medications may be prescribed. These can include methotrexateacitretin, or cyclosporine, which work by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation.
  5. Injectable biologics: In recent years, biologic medications such as adalimumabetanercept, and ustekinumab have become available for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. These drugs target specific parts of the immune system that contribute to the development of psoriasis.

It’s important to work closely with your dermatologist to find the most effective treatment plan for your individual case. Sometimes, a combination of therapies may be recommended for optimal results. Be sure to follow your treatment plan consistently and keep your dermatologist informed of any changes in your symptoms or side effects from medications.

Living with Nummular Psoriasis: Practical Tips for Everyday Management

In addition to medical treatment, there are several steps you can take to manage your nummular psoriasis and improve your overall quality of life:

  1. Identify and avoid triggers: Pay attention to factors that seem to worsen your symptoms, such as stress, certain medications, or environmental irritants. Keep a symptom diary to help identify patterns and potential triggers.
  2. Manage stress: Since stress can exacerbate psoriasis, find ways to manage stress effectively. This may include techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help support your overall health and may reduce the severity of your psoriasis.
  4. Protect your skin: Avoid harsh soaps, hot showers, and excessive scrubbing, which can irritate your skin. Use lukewarm water and gentle, fragrance-free cleansers. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing: Choose loose, breathable fabrics like cotton to minimize friction and irritation on your skin. Avoid tight, rough, or scratchy clothing that can aggravate your symptoms.

The Importance of Moisturizing for Soothing Relief

One of the most important aspects of managing nummular psoriasis is keeping your skin well-moisturized. Dry skin can worsen itching, flaking, and discomfort associated with psoriasis. Regular use of moisturizers can help:

  • Soothe and hydrate dry, irritated skin
  • Reduce itching and flaking
  • Improve the appearance of psoriasis patches
  • Enhance the effectiveness of topical medications

When choosing a moisturizer, look for products that are:

  • Fragrance-free and dye-free to minimize irritation
  • Thick and creamy, such as ointments or creams, for optimal hydration
  • Formulated for sensitive or psoriatic skin

Apply moisturizer liberally and frequently, especially after bathing or showering. Consider using a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air and prevent skin dryness.

When to See a Doctor: Seeking Professional Help

While nummular psoriasis can often be managed with a combination of self-care measures and medical treatment, there are times when it’s essential to seek professional help. Contact your dermatologist if you experience:

  • Persistent or worsening symptoms despite treatment
  • Severe itching, pain, or discomfort that interferes with daily activities or sleep
  • Signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or oozing from the lesions
  • Significant emotional distress or self-consciousness related to your skin condition

Your dermatologist can assess your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed. They can also provide guidance on coping strategies and offer support for the emotional aspects of living with a chronic skin condition.

Remember, the earlier you seek treatment for nummular psoriasis, the better your chances of effectively managing your symptoms and preventing complications. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider with any concerns or questions you may have.

Psoriasis Age of Onset: Can Nummular Psoriasis Strike at Any Age?

Psoriasis, including nummular psoriasis, can develop at any age, although it most commonly appears during two peak periods:

  1. Young adulthood: Many people first develop psoriasis between the ages of 15 and 35. This early-onset psoriasis is often associated with a family history of the condition and tends to be more severe.
  2. Late adulthood: A second peak period of onset occurs in adults over the age of 50. Late-onset psoriasis is less likely to be associated with a family history and may have a milder course.

It’s important to note that these are general trends, and psoriasis can occur at any age, even in childhood. Regardless of when symptoms first appear, prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential for managing the condition effectively.

The Emotional Impact of Psoriasis: Beyond the Skin

Living with psoriasis can have a significant impact on a person’s emotional well-being. The visible nature of the condition can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, or even social isolation. Many people with psoriasis experience:

  • Anxiety about their appearance or the progression of their condition
  • Depression related to the chronic nature of psoriasis and its impact on daily life
  • Stress, which can worsen symptoms and create a vicious cycle

It’s essential to address the emotional aspects of living with psoriasis as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This may involve:

  • Seeking support from family, friends, or a mental health professional
  • Joining a psoriasis support group to connect with others who understand your experiences
  • Practicing stress-management techniques, such as relaxation exercises or mindfulness

Remember, you are not alone in your journey with psoriasis. Many resources and support networks are available to help you cope with the emotional challenges of this condition.

Living a Fulfilling Life with Nummular Psoriasis: Taking Charge of Your Health

While nummular psoriasis can be a challenging condition to live with, it’s important to remember that with proper management and a positive outlook, you can still lead a full and active life. Here are some key strategies for taking charge of your health:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn as much as you can about nummular psoriasis, its triggers, and treatment options. This knowledge can empower you to make informed decisions about your care and advocate for your needs.
  2. Partner with your healthcare team: Work closely with your dermatologist and other healthcare providers to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and goals. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns.
  3. Practice self-care: Prioritize activities that promote physical and emotional well-being, such as exercise, stress management, and hobbies you enjoy. Taking care of yourself holistically can help you better cope with the challenges of living with psoriasis.
  4. Connect with others: Seek support from others who understand what you’re going through. Consider joining a psoriasis support group, either in-person or online, to connect with others who can offer encouragement, advice, and a listening ear.
  5. Advocate for yourself: Don’t be afraid to speak up about your needs and concerns, whether it’s with your healthcare providers, family, or friends. Remember, you are your own best advocate when it comes to managing your health and well-being.

By taking an active role in your care and surrounding yourself with a supportive network, you can navigate the challenges of living with nummular psoriasis and maintain a high quality of life. Remember, with the right treatment, self-care strategies, and mindset, you can thrive despite your diagnosis.


Is there a cure for nummular psoriasis?

While there is currently no cure for nummular psoriasis, effective treatments and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and achieve periods of remission. Research continues to explore new treatment options and strategies for managing this chronic condition.

Are there dietary changes that can help with nummular psoriasis?

Although there is no proven “psoriasis diet,” some people find that certain foods may trigger or worsen their symptoms. Consulting with a registered dietitian can help you create a personalized nutrition plan that supports your overall health, which may have a positive impact on your psoriasis.

What if my current treatments aren’t working?

If you find that your current treatment plan isn’t providing adequate relief or your symptoms are worsening, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. They can work with you to explore alternative treatment options or adjust your current regimen to better manage your nummular psoriasis.

How can I find a support group for people with psoriasis?

Start by asking your dermatologist if they can recommend any local support groups. You can also search online for reputable psoriasis organizations, such as the National Psoriasis Foundation, which offer support groups and resources for people living with psoriasis.

Are there any promising new treatments for nummular psoriasis on the horizon?

Researchers continue to study new treatment options for psoriasis, including nummular psoriasis. Clinical trials are ongoing to explore novel therapies, such as new biologic medications or combination treatments. Stay in touch with your dermatologist to stay informed about the latest advancements in psoriasis care.

Complementary and Alternative Approaches for Nummular Psoriasis: Exploring Additional Options

In addition to conventional medical treatments, some people with nummular psoriasis find relief through complementary and alternative approaches. While these strategies should not replace proven medical therapies, they may provide additional support for managing symptoms and promoting overall well-being. However, it’s crucial to consult with your dermatologist before incorporating any new approaches into your treatment plan.

Some complementary and alternative options that may be helpful for people with nummular psoriasis include:

  • Stress management techniques: Practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or tai chi can help reduce stress, which is a common trigger for psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Supplements: Some people find that certain supplements, such as fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin D, or turmeric, may help reduce inflammation and improve skin health. However, always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
  • Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Some people with psoriasis report benefits from acupuncture, although more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.

It’s important to remember that while these approaches may offer some benefits, they should not be used as a substitute for proven medical treatments. Always work closely with your dermatologist to ensure that any complementary or alternative therapies you pursue are safe and appropriate for your individual case.

The Latest Research on Nummular Psoriasis: Staying Up-to-Date

As researchers continue to study the causes and potential treatments for psoriasis, including nummular psoriasis, new advancements are being made all the time. Staying informed about the latest research can help you and your dermatologist make informed decisions about your care.

“There is ongoing research into the causes and treatments of psoriasis,” says Dr. [Name], a dermatologist. “New advancements are being made all the time.”

Clinical trials are underway to explore new treatment options for psoriasis, such as:

  • Novel biologic medications: Researchers are developing new biologic drugs that target specific parts of the immune system involved in the development of psoriasis.
  • Combination therapies: Studies are investigating the effectiveness of combining different treatment modalities, such as topical medications and phototherapy, to optimize results.
  • Personalized medicine: As scientists learn more about the genetic factors involved in psoriasis, there is growing interest in developing personalized treatment approaches based on an individual’s unique genetic profile.

To stay up-to-date on the latest research and advancements in psoriasis care, consult with your dermatologist regularly. They can provide insights into new treatment options that may be relevant to your case and guide you in making informed decisions about your care.

Credible Sources for Psoriasis Information: Finding Reliable Resources

When seeking information about psoriasis, it’s essential to rely on credible, trustworthy sources to ensure that you’re getting accurate and up-to-date information. Some reputable sources for psoriasis information include:

When evaluating online sources, look for websites affiliated with recognized medical organizations, government health agencies, or academic institutions. Be cautious of sources that make unsubstantiated claims or promote “miracle cures” for psoriasis. Always consult with your dermatologist before making any changes to your treatment plan based on information you find online.


Nummular psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that presents unique challenges for those who live with it. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and management strategies for this condition, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions about your care.

Remember, working closely with a dermatologist is essential for receiving an accurate diagnosis and developing a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs. With the right combination of medical care, self-care strategies, and support from loved ones, you can effectively manage your nummular psoriasis and maintain a high quality of life.

As research continues to advance our understanding of psoriasis and its various forms, stay connected with your dermatologist and reputable psoriasis organizations to stay informed about new developments in care. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support when you need it. You are not alone in your journey with nummular psoriasis, and there are resources available to help you every step of the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Nummular psoriasis is a type of psoriasis characterized by coin-shaped, scaly patches on the skin.
  • The exact cause of nummular psoriasis is unknown, but it likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • Common triggers for nummular psoriasis include skin injuries, infections, stress, and certain medications.
  • Treatment options for nummular psoriasis include topical medications, phototherapy, oral medications, and biologic drugs.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as managing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and practicing good skin care, can help manage nummular psoriasis symptoms.
  • Working closely with a dermatologist is essential for receiving an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
  • Seeking support from loved ones and connecting with others who have psoriasis can provide valuable emotional support and practical advice.
  • Staying informed about the latest research and advancements in psoriasis care can help you make informed decisions about your health.

By educating yourself about nummular psoriasis, partnering with your healthcare team, and prioritizing self-care, you can take charge of your health and live a fulfilling life with this chronic skin condition.

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