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Nummular eczema or ringworm???
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Nummular eczema or ringworm???

I'm a 23 year old woman and during my second pregnancy I developped itchy annular lesions. They are circular with raised borders and central clearing. I started with 3 lesions and immediately started treating with Clomitrazole. That didn't work so I switched to terbinafine cream. Also no luck so I saw my doctor who prescribed oral Diflucan. At this point it had been 9 months and I had 10 lesions. She referred me to a dermatologist who took one look and said it's nummular eczema. I'm a little skeptical because when I look at pictures online it looks more like ringworm to me, but she said considering my age and the fact that it hasn't responded to treatment she's confident in her diagnosis. Here's some other info
*no pets and I don't know where I got it
*my husband and 2 kids have not caught anything (though I've been very careful with cleaning everything like mad)
*lesions started on my thighs and now are on both thighs and belly
*I live in a hot, humid climate

What do you think is more likely? I'm nervous about stopping the anti-fungal cream and putting on the cortisone  because I've read online that would make the ringworm worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having somewhat of the same problem. I have been having annular rings on my forehead, and the doctor really doesn't know what it is. He said it may be nummular eczema, or ringworm, but he is baffled to what it could be. This isn't the only location it is, it is also on my back and chest. I also have been having this serious cough that, I feel, is directly related to these annular rings, which suggests that it is nummular eczema, but looks more like ringworm.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've broken out in something similar on my lower left leg.  I'm 28 and got a rounded spot on my leg that I thought was ringworm.  At the time, I had just gotten a cat from a shelter and she turned out to have ringworm.  I treated the spot with lamasil and various antifungal creams but it didn't work.  I ended up in the emergency room with cellulitis (staph infection).  Had to see a dermatologist and after being off my feet for two weeks with the infection, it looked like it healed.  Then in the same spot I started getting two little bumps.  It broke out into two more spots on my leg, front and back, and was raised and ringed.  Ended up getting a third spot on the back of my knee and now have two more spots on either side of the ankle.  Even though the spots heal, after a few days, they re-errupt with the same thing.  Some of them have actually erupted into a raised bumpy rash from the circular ring.  I've tried all types of coricosteroid creams from the dermatologist.  He actually called me a mystery girl - what everyone wants to hear.  Though he said he thinks I have numular eczema, he doesn't understand why we can't make it go away and stay away.  I've just had a biopsy done on one of the outbreak patches to see if it helps determine what it is.  I've been on antibiotics that don't seem to help too.  Clarithromycin is what I'm on now - I think it's to help with the biopsy healing.  I've been on biaxin and cipro too.  So far I've been struggling with this since October 2009 and it's now January 2010.  I've tried to do my own research but end up freaking myself out.  

Other details:
- Been under high stress with job and recent house.
- have two cats
- never had a history of skin problems except for acne.
- I'm a neat freak and keep everything clean!  
- been using Lubriderm at least twice to three times a day.
- spots get really dark when they heal.  Then suddenly the center goes all white and looks shiny.
- repeated outbreaks in the same spot at least four to five times now.  And new spots showed up on the same leg last month.
- Itching seems to be worse at night.

I was wondering what your spots looked like to compare?  I look up pics online but they don't necessarily look like what I have.  Maybe in the beginning stages, but then when I errupt, I get what looks like the circle popped and it spreads outward with lots of itchy bumps.  Is there any way to share pics on here?

Signed,
Melody
aka Mystery Leper Girl
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Avatar_n_tn
My name is Brian and I'm 24 years old with a history of eczema. I too have the same problem where I had several rashes that were shaped like a ring and clear in the middle. I work at a pet store and last year my manager made me not work for a week as she thought I had ringworm. I went to my doctor and he just prescribed me some hydrocortisone for my eczema and told me to use antifungal on the affected areas i thought were ringworm. Well it took about two months for the circular rashes to clear and luckily they weren't visible so I went back to work. This past December I got the rashes again and they have been healing and coming back for the past few months. I'm also freaking out thinking it may be ringworm so I alternate applying the antifungal and hyrdrocortisone cream. I believe I don't have ringworm but when any other person sees my rash they get scared because they say it looks like ringworm. For now I just have to cover the few rashes I have with bandages.

The ringworm-like rash I get are shaped like a small circle between .5cm-.75cm and I usually end up scratching them at night causing them to have a red border.
They also leave a dark imprint when they heal.

I really hope that our rashes could heal. I find that I usually get eczema outbreaks whenever the weather is cold.
Well good luck treating the rashes Mystery girl and ajjcmama.
I too thought I was special having these mystery rash.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been having a similar problem on my arm and neck. I am 17 and have a history of eczema at my fingertips when I'm under alot of stress. I got the rashes when the whether got cold suddenly, so I don't know what it is. I thought it was ringworm, which the doctor agreed with, but the Lotramin only seemed to work on my neck. They itched like crazy and still do sometimes. I was being careful to contain it, but I also have an allergy to the adhesive on bandaids, so I can't even do that well. I started using acetone to kill the fungus and stop the itching (effective but probably very stupid) and it worked somewhat, but it still hasn't gone away completely had the one on my neck, which initially seemed to be healing, looks like it broke out again around the same area and is more of an oval about 2 cm long . The one on my arm is about 2cm in diameter and was originally covered in raise red, tiny blisters, the acetone, alternated with lotramin, got rid of that, and the center is clearing, but I keep irritating the skin out of fear that the fungus will come back to life. Last night I was doing some more research and found info on Nummular Eczema. Now I am completely confused because it fits that description as well. The only thing I can think is if it doesn't go away on its own soon (I've had it about two weeks) I'll go to the doctor and have a culture done to rule out ringworm, since it is caused by fungus.
Also
- I just started college in a colder, drier environment
- I have never had dry skin in my life that i can remember
- the rash started out as a group of bumps on my arm and formed a ring around it later. I don't know about the neck.
- I am sensitive to soap and burn easily if I leave it on my body.
- I have other itchy areas on my neck, arms, legs, and back, but i can't see anything there but an occasional red bump for two weeks now.
- I am normally very healthy, but my brother has very dry skin alot of the time

let me know if you find out anything. I don't know how to handle this
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Avatar_f_tn
Don't know if this will help you all, but I just found this article while researching the difference between eczema and ringworm.  My daughter was diagnosed with ringworm, but I honestly think it's eczema from the way her skin reacted to being in the pool today.  From reading everyone's postings, this article might help.  Best of luck to you all!

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/skin-care/ringworm
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem with you guys. I am a nurse and been self medicating myself with creams. I've diagnosed myself with ringworm but thought the rash was really different from what I know about ringworms. I decided to look at pictures in the web about ringworms and there appeared to be similar to my rashes. They called it "nummular eczema". I read somewhere in the Internet too that the cause is unknown and no known drug or cream of choice but one thing I have noticed, when I'm in a lot of stress, that's the time these rashes comes out in my thighs, legs, arms, stomach, chest, back and buttocks. I mean how can I avoid stress with my work? I am helpless and itching right now.....
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Avatar_f_tn
It can be both! Here's what I do: I combine Monistat, athlete's foot medicine, and triple antibiotic. I do not use the steroid creams, which inflame everything, a documented side effect. Also, I realized that whenever I eat bananas, I have an immediate flare-up. Bananas can cause hives, in part due to the latex-like substance in the plant. Finally, stress causes flare-ups, too. The reason all of this happens is a vicious cycle of inflammation causing a condition that causes inflammation that causes a condition, which may cause a secondary condition. Everyone has fungal growths on their skin; they flare up when the skin's ability to fight them is compromised--like when an allergic reaction or hives from nerves or medicine--or any number of things--happen. I resent doctors discounting a complex set of symptoms and dismissing patients who have them.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am having similar symptoms to all of you and it is very frustrating.  I've had eczema on my buttocks for a few years...comes and goes all the time, flares up mostly when it gets sweaty or after swimming.  However, about 4 months ago, I developed a rash on the left side of my neck and face that resembled ringworm and I treated it as such with clotrimazale and even a prescribed steroid.  It appeared to go away (at least in appearance), but the area still always itched.  It also is in the same area that I had shingles.  My fear was that my shingles had come back...and that isn't fun...so I was happy when the doc said it was ringworm.  Now, the ring is back and it itches much more.  Plus, there also appears to be a smaller ring which appears dryer and itches less (hurts more) on my right cheek.  I know it isn't shingles, but now I'm not convinced it's ringworm either, especially since most times when the area itches, I put clotrimazole on it just in case.  Since I have eczema on my rear and I also have rosacea on my face, maybe it's more likely I have this nummular eczema rather than ringworm again.  I just feel like I've been fighting a losing case if it's ringworm.  Although I've been fighting a losing case with the eczema on my behind as well, since as soon as it goes away, it comes flaring back.  Can I ever get this resolved?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am experiencing a very similar thing on my right lower leg about 3 inches above the ankle.  It started out of the blue after I fell getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  At first, I thought I had just hit my leg and had a bruise.  But, it got worse and didn't heal.  I too thought it was ringworm, but self-treatment with the usual home remedies have not helped and in fact, some made it worse.  It started to sting and hurt deeply at times.  As you described, the outer area of the lesion gets darker as the scabby parts seem to be healing and the inner section becomes lighter and shiny.  The skin inside the circle looks taut.  I am 56 years old.  I've never had eczema or other stuff like this.  Have you had any resolutions or found anything that really helps yet?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been dealing with what I thought wasa systematic resistant fungal infection for a few years, that got worse during and after pregnancy. I was sure it was a typre of fungus bc of the itch, spread, and circular shape of the rash..I also have ezema and it started to seem like a combo of both. I tried every treatment in the book, and most seemed to just aggravate this strange rash... but then my son got a few ring patches and when I took him to his 1 year check up and asked which type of fungal cream would be gentle enough on his sensitive skin and she informed me of this nummular ecema?? it's the first ive ever heard of such a thing and amazed at how simmilar it is to the torturous rash Ive been suffering from. I too have no idea which is which, and have no insurance so a doctor couldn't be dumbfounded over it anyway. so far the only thing that works for me is garlic supplements and tanning, yes tanning! THE UV WILL CLEAR IT UP IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! ITS AMAZING! It's a blessing to find something that actually manages this weird condition. I hope ya'll find some relief soon!
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