Understanding Eczema Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis and eczema are distinct ailments that sometimes overlap.

DERMATOLOGY Sarcoidosis is a relatively rare multisystem granulomatous autoimmune disorder that appears in humans. Granulomas, or small lumps can interfere with the normal function of the lungs in 90% of patients. Manifestation may include other organs like the liver, spleen, eyes, myocardium, central nervous system, joints, and bones. When sarcoidosis involves the heart, eyes, brain, and kidneys the outlook is bad. Three to 5 percent of such cases result in morbidity.

Some people with sarcoidosis exhibit no symptoms; others live in daily pain. Mayo Clinic indicates that common symptoms include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A vague feeling of discomfort and fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Small red bumps on your face, arms or buttocks
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Arthritis in your ankles, elbows, wrists and hands, commonly associated with bumps in the skin over your shins (erythema nodosum)

According to Dr. Om P Sharma, specialist in sarcoidosis and instructor at the USC Department of Medicine Health Center, "Untreated sarcoidosis eventually subsides in most of the patients, but it may worsen in others. The outlook is better in patients with erythema nodosum. The patients who experience spontaneous remission rarely relapse."

Sarcoidosis May Trigger Eczema

What does eczema sarcoidosis look like? Eczema may occur apart from sarcoidosis. Eczema sarcoidosis can appear as itchy brown or purplish-red, circular areas of thickened skin called skin plaques. Commonly the shins develop bumps that are sensitive to touch, called erythema nodosum. This can also cause arthritis in the wrists, hands, elbows, and ankles. Diffuse plaques may also become manifest on the face, limbs, shoulders, buttocks, and thighs. Eczema nummular, produces rashes that may be bumpy and blistering or dry, scaly round patches. Sarcoidosis is also known to trigger a blistering rash called erythema multiforme, which typically spreads for a few days and lasts up to three weeks.

In the United States, sarcoidosis has a predilection for blacks (12:1 black: white ratio), says Sharma. Women outnumber men 2:1 in black patients, whereas, sex distribution is even among white patients. (Additional differential: Bowen's disease, lupus vulgaris, tinea corporis)

Tags: allergies, allergy, carcinoma, dermatologist, dermatology, diagnostic, human, pulmonary, redness, respiratory, rheumatology, scars, symptoms

  1. Health Journal Online. hjo.org
  2. Skin Cancer Foundation. skincancer.org
  3. Cutaneous Sarcoidosis: A Dermatologic Masquerader. aafp.org