Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate
What is Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate?
Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate is an uncommon skin condition that presents as non-scaly red patches and lumps on the face, neck and upper back. They are usually painless and do not itch. Lesions may go through periods of remission and exacerbation over months or years. Total spontaneous resolution has also occurred in some cases.
The condition is known by many other names including benign lymphocytic infiltration, Jessner disease, Jessner-Kanof syndrome, and benign chronic T-cell infiltrative disorder. It has been thought to be in the same disease spectrum as lupus erythematosus (lupus tumidus) but on histology, monoclonal antibody Leu 8 staining indicates they may be separate conditions.
The cause of Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate is unknown.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Lesions usually start off as defined, small, slightly raised red spots that gradually enlarge peripherally to create a well demarcated red plaque. Sometimes the centre of the lesion is left clear. Single or multiple lesions may occur and they range from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Seasonal activity is variable: more patients deteriorate in winter than summer and there may be a relationship with sun exposure. Usually they are symptomless but some patients may complain of itching or burning.
What treatment is available?
Usually no treatment is necessary as after persisting for several months or years, lesions disappear spontaneously without causing other problems. Occasionally they may recur at the same site or elsewhere.
Cosmetic camouflage may be used to hide lesions and improve appearance. There is variable response to the following treatments:
- Topical and intralesional corticosteroids
- Antimalarial medications such as hydroxychloroquine
- Photochemotherapy (PUVA)
All patients should be advised to follow sun protection measures, regardless of their history of photo-aggravation.
- Book: Textbook of Dermatology. Ed Rook A, Wilkinson DS, Ebling FJB, Champion RH, Burton JL. Sixth edition. Blackwell Scientific Publications.
On DermNet NZ:
- Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate of the skin – Medscape Reference
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