Eczema - Types of Eczema


Contact dermatitis can also develop after a person touches an allergy-triggering substance, such as:

The hands are especially vulnerable to developing contact dermatitis. People can develop contact dermatitis even if they don't have atopic dermatitis.

Treatments for irritant contact dermatitis include:

Treatments for contact dermatitis from allergic triggers also include steroid drugs. These are rubbed on the skin or taken as a pill.

For either type of contact dermatitis, antibiotics may be necessary. Avoiding future contact with the irritant or allergy trigger is also important. Wearing gloves can help protect the skin on the hands, which are often affected.

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

This type of eczema affects the hands and feet. The cause is unknown.

The first symptom may be severe itching. Blisters may then appear, which give way a few weeks later to scaly patches. Sometimes deep cracks can appear on the hands or fingers.

This type of eczema may become chronic and painful.

Treatments include:

  • Cool, wet compresses
  • Steroid drugs that are rubbed onto the skin or taken by mouth
  • Psoralen combined with ultraviolet A therapy

Nummular Dermatitis

This type of eczema more often affects men than women. Men usually don't get their first outbreak before their mid-50s. Women tend to get it in their teen years or early adulthood.

Nummular dermatitis causes coin-shaped red marks. The marks appear most often on the:

  • Legs
  • Backs of the hands
  • Forearms
  • Lower back
  • Hips

The cause of nummular dermatitis is unknown. However, factors that may raise the chance that an outbreak will strike include:

  • Cold, dry air
  • Exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde
  • Exposure to metals, including nickel

Treatments for nummular dermatitis include:

  • Protecting your skin from scratches and other injuries
  • Taking a lukewarm bath or shower, then applying a moisturizer to your skin
  • Applying a steroid ointment to the rash
  • Taking a steroid medication by mouth or injection that goes to work throughout your body
  • Taking antibiotics if an infection develops


People with this type of eczema develop skin irritation in spots that they frequently scratch out of habit.