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Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate

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Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate

Also known as benign lymphocytic infiltration of the skin, Jessner–Kanof lymphocytic infiltration of the skin

What is Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate?

It is a benign skin condition characterised by persistent lymphocyte (immune) cells in the skin. It may be a variant of lupus erythematosus, but this remains uncertain.

Image reproduced with permission of Dr Davin Lim
Image reproduced with permission of Dr Davin Lim

What causes Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate?

The cause of this condition is unknown.

What does Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate look like?

Jessner’s occurs primarily on sun-exposed sites such as the head, neck and upper back. It appears as one or several non-scaly red raised spots, plaques and less commonly larger lumps. Circular lesions with a central clearing are commonly seen.

Lesions do not usually cause symptoms, but some affected people experience burning or itching. Individuals are otherwise well and have no internal symptoms. Onset or worsening of lesions following sun exposure commonly occurs. There can be a seasonal variation in severity.

How is Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate diagnosed?

  • Skin biopsy:a tiny piece of skin is taken and examined under the microscope.
  • Blood test: to look for signs of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Phototesting: tests for sensitivity to light which helps distinguish it from another condition called polymorphous light eruption.

How is Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate treated?

As Jessner’s can improve on its own, treatment is often unnecessary.

Sun avoidance and sun protection are strongly recommended in all cases, regardless of whether there is a history of photo-aggravation.

A variety of treatment options have been tried with variable success rates including:

  • Topical, intralesional or systemic steroids
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus or pimocrilimus
  • Antimalarial medications such as hydroxychloroquine, particularly in cases with photo-sensitivity
  • Cryotherapy
  • Pulsed-dye laser
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Photochemotherapy (PUVA)
  • Radiotherapy
  • Methotrexate
  • Thalidomide
  • Oral auranofin

What is the likely outcome of Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate?

The course of Jessner’s is variable and unpredictable, most often lasting months to years. Lesions may recur at the same site or elsewhere. There are often periods of remission and exacerbation. However, the condition may also resolve completely without treatment.

This information has been written by Dr Davin Lim and Dr Heba Jibreal
Updated 22 June 2015

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