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Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate

Larisa J Geskin, MD
Section Editor
John A Zic, MD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate (JLI), also called benign lymphocytic infiltration of the skin, is a rare, benign dermatosis with a self-limiting course and an excellent prognosis. It typically presents as erythematous papules and plaques primarily located on the face, neck, or upper back.

However, since the original description by Jessner and Kanof in 1953 [1], the existence of JLI as a distinct disease has been questioned [2]. The list of disorders that overlap clinically and histologically with JLI is vast, indicating that JLI is probably not a separate entity, but rather a clinicopathologic reaction pattern common to different skin diseases [2-8].

In the last few decades, significant advancements in the immunopathologic and molecular diagnosis have enabled a specific diagnosis for many of the cases previously labeled as JLI [8-10]. Nonetheless, some cases of JLI defy a precise diagnosis.

This topic will review the clinical manifestations, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and management of JLI. Other benign lymphoproliferative skin disorders are discussed separately. (See "Cutaneous T cell pseudolymphomas" and "Cutaneous B cell pseudolymphomas".)


JLI is rare. Its incidence and prevalence are unknown. JLI usually occurs in older adults, without sex predilection [2].


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jan 6, 2016.
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