Difference Between Nummular Eczema Vs Ringworm

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Nummular Eczema Vs Ringworm: Nummular Eczema and Ringworm can both cause itchy, circular rashes, leading to confusion between the two (Nummular Eczema Vs Ringworm). However, they have key differences. Nummular eczema is a chronic skin condition with unknown triggers, while ringworm is a contagious fungal infection. Ringworm typically appears as one or two well-defined rings, whereas nummular eczema often presents with multiple coin-shaped patches and can also cause burning or pain.

Difference Between Nummular Eczema and Ringworm

Nummular eczema (also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis) and ringworm (tinea corporis) are two skin disorders that share symptoms including redness, itching, and circular areas on the skin. However, they are generated by various reasons and exhibit diverse properties. Outlined are the differences between nummular eczema and ringworm.


Nummular Eczema



Combination of genetics, environment, dry skin

Fungal infection


Not caused by specific pathogen

Fungi (dermatophytes)


Not contagious

Contagious (can spread through contact)


Coin-shaped patches, red/inflamed, scaly/crusty

Circular lesions, raised edges, clear center


Anywhere on body, common on limbs

Exposed skin surfaces (arms, legs, trunk)


Itching, burning, oozing fluid

Itching, redness, scaling


Clinical evaluation, medical history, exclusion

Visual examination, possibly tests (e.g., skin scrapings)


Moisturizing, avoiding triggers, corticosteroids

Antifungal medications (topical/oral)


May recur periodically

Can recur without proper treatment


Bacterial infections if skin becomes cracked

Spread to other areas or people

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What is Nummular Eczema?

Nummular eczema is a kind of eczema that develops itchy, red, coin-shaped areas on the skin. It is caused by dry skin, allergens, or allergies and can flare up in response to stress or weather changes. There is no cure, although treatments such as moisturisers and steroid creams can help relieve symptoms.

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Key Features of Nummular Eczema:

  • Nummular Eczema is distinguished by the appearance of round or oval areas on the skin that resemble coins. These patches can be anything from pea-sized to several centimetres in diameter.
  • The afflicted areas are extremely irritating, which often keeps patients up at night. Inflammation may cause the skin to seem red, puffy, and rough.
  • Nummular Eczema can cause regions to become dry, cracked, or coated with a yellowish discharge. Scratching might exacerbate the symptoms.
  • While the specific reason is unknown, dry skin, allergies, and irritating exposure can all induce eruptions. Stress and some drugs may also be contributing factors.

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a contagious fungal illness that causes itchy, red, scaly spots with a ring-like border. It can occur anywhere on the body and is treated with antifungal drugs applied directly to the skin or taken orally.

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Key Features of Ringworm:

  • Ringworm causes red, itchy circular areas with elevated borders and clearer skin in the centre. These patches can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp (tinea capitis) and nails (tinea unguium).
  • Unlike the frequently fuzzy margins of Nummular Eczema, ringworm patches have very crisp, well-defined borders, giving them a distinct "ring-like" look.
  • When ringworm affects the scalp (tinea capitis), it can cause uneven hair loss, which may include broken hair shafts.
  • Ringworm can cause nails (tinea unguium) to thicken, discolour, and crumble.

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Similarities Between Nummular Eczema and Ringworm

  • Nummular eczema (also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis) and ringworm (tinea corporis) are two conditions that can create round or circular skin lesions.
  • Both illnesses can produce itching, although the degree varies.
  • Ringworm and nummular eczema are both capable of causing skin redness and irritation.
  • Both illnesses may necessitate comparable treatment measures, such as topical medicines, to alleviate symptoms while addressing underlying issues.
  • Proper skin care measures, such as keeping the afflicted region clean and dry, can help alleviate the symptoms of nummular eczema and ringworm.

Both Nummular Eczema and Ringworm generate circular itchy rashes, however they come from very different origins. Nummular Eczema is a kind of eczema that results from irritated skin caused by irritants or allergens. In contrast, ringworm is a contagious fungal illness. Though their looks may be similar, Ringworm usually appears as one or two well-defined rings, but Nummular Eczema frequently appears as many coin-shaped spots accompanied by dryness, burning, and more acute itching. Understanding the fundamental reason through a doctor's diagnosis is critical for obtaining the appropriate therapy. Nummular Eczema focuses on symptom management and flare-ups, whereas Ringworm need antifungal therapy to eradicate the fungal infection. Consulting a dermatologist can help you obtain the specific therapy and relief you require.

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What is Nummular Eczema, and how does it differ from Ringworm?

Nummular eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by round or oval-shaped patches of inflamed, itchy skin. On the other hand, ringworm, despite its name, is a fungal infection that forms ring-shaped rashes on the skin. While both conditions can cause similar-looking patches, they have different underlying causes: nummular eczema is related to an overactive immune response, while ringworm is caused by a fungal infection.

Are there any similarities between Nummular Eczema and Ringworm?

Yes, both nummular eczema and ringworm can cause red, itchy patches on the skin. Additionally, both conditions may spread if left untreated, and they can occur on various parts of the body.

What are the common features of Nummular Eczema and Ringworm?

Both conditions can present as circular or oval-shaped lesions on the skin, which may be red, inflamed, and itchy. They can also both be triggered or exacerbated by factors such as stress, certain fabrics, or environmental allergens.

How can one differentiate between Nummular Eczema and Ringworm?

A dermatologist can often differentiate between the two conditions by examining the appearance of the rash and potentially conducting tests such as a skin scraping or biopsy. Nummular eczema tends to be more scaly and may ooze, while ringworm often has a more distinct border and may feature raised, scaly edges.

What are the treatment options for Nummular Eczema and Ringworm?

Treatment for nummular eczema typically involves moisturizing the skin, avoiding triggers, and using topical corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory medications. Ringworm, on the other hand, is treated with antifungal medications such as creams, lotions, or oral medications.

Can Nummular Eczema be mistaken for Ringworm, or vice versa?

Yes, it is possible for nummular eczema to be mistaken for ringworm and vice versa, especially in the early stages. That's why it's important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.