Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2017 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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].

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:

Subscribers log in here

Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 27, 2017.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2017 UpToDate, Inc.
  1. ORFUSS AJ. Lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. AMA Arch Derm Syphilol 1953; 68:447.
  2. Lipsker D, Mitschler A, Grosshans E, Cribier B. Could Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate of the skin be a dermal variant of lupus erythematosus? An analysis of 210 cases. Dermatology 2006; 213:15.
  3. Dantas FL, Valente NY, Veronez IS, et al. Possibly drug-induced palpable migratory arciform erythema. An Bras Dermatol 2015; 90:77.
  4. Peña-Irún Á, González-Santamaría AR. Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Rev Clin Esp 2015; 215:138.
  5. Tomasini D, Mentzel T, Hantschke M, et al. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells: an overview of their presence and distribution in different inflammatory skin diseases, with special emphasis on Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate of the skin and cutaneous lupus erythematosus. J Cutan Pathol 2010; 37:1132.
  6. O'Toole EA, Powell F, Barnes L. Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate and probable discoid lupus erythematosus occurring separately in two sisters. Clin Exp Dermatol 1999; 24:90.
  7. Poenitz N, Dippel E, Klemke CD, et al. Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin: a CD8+ polyclonal reactive skin condition. Dermatology 2003; 207:276.
  8. Ziemer M, Eisendle K, Müller H, Zelger B. Lymphocytic infiltration of the skin (Jessner-Kanof) but not reticular erythematous mucinosis occasionally represents clinical manifestations of Borrelia-associated pseudolymphoma. Br J Dermatol 2009; 161:583.
  9. Arai E, Shimizu M, Hirose T. A review of 55 cases of cutaneous lymphoid hyperplasia: reassessment of the histopathologic findings leading to reclassification of 4 lesions as cutaneous marginal zone lymphoma and 19 as pseudolymphomatous folliculitis. Hum Pathol 2005; 36:505.
  10. Rémy-Leroux V, Léonard F, Lambert D, et al. Comparison of histopathologic-clinical characteristics of Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin and lupus erythematosus tumidus: Multicenter study of 46 cases. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008; 58:217.
  11. Corazza M, Borghi A, Minghetti S, et al. Duloxetine-induced pseudolymphoma with features of lymphocytic infiltration of Jessner-Kanof. Acta Derm Venereol 2014; 94:605.
  12. Yalcin AD, Bisgin A, Akman A, et al. Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate as a side effect of bee venom immunotherapy. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2012; 22:308.
  13. Sparsa L, Afif N, Goetz J, et al. Jessner-Kanof disease induced by leflunomide: a dermal variant of cutaneous lupus? Rheumatol Int 2011; 31:255.
  14. Caroli UM, Berner D, Schlegel C, et al. Lymphocytic infiltration of the skin Jessner-Kanof after treatment with a hydroquinone-containing bleaching cream. Arch Dermatol 2006; 142:1655.
  15. Schepis C, Lentini M, Siragusa M, Batolo D. ACE-inhibitor-induced drug eruption resembling lymphocytic infiltration (of Jessner-Kanof) and Lupus erythematosus tumidus. Dermatology 2004; 208:354.
  16. Guarneri C, Lentini M, Polimeni G, et al. Ustekinumab-induced drug eruption resembling lymphocytic infiltration (of Jessner-Kanof) and lupus erythematosus tumidus. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016; 81:792.
  17. Chan SA, Shah F, Chaganti S, et al. Primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma: systemic spread is rare while cutaneous relapses and secondary malignancies are frequent. Br J Dermatol 2017; 177:287.
  18. Schmitt V, Meuth AM, Amler S, et al. Lupus erythematosus tumidus is a separate subtype of cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Br J Dermatol 2010; 162:64.
  19. Cozzani E, Christana K, Rongioletti F, et al. Lupus erythematosus tumidus: clinical, histopathological and serological aspects and therapy response of 21 patients. Eur J Dermatol 2010; 20:797.
  20. Rodriguez-Caruncho C, Bielsa I, Fernández-Figueras MT, et al. Lupus erythematosus tumidus: a clinical and histological study of 25 cases. Lupus 2015; 24:751.
  21. Toonstra J, Wildschut A, Boer J, et al. Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. A clinical study of 100 patients. Arch Dermatol 1989; 125:1525.
  22. Tzung TY, Wu JC. Topical calcineurin inhibitors in treating Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin: report of a case. Br J Dermatol 2005; 152:383.
  23. Green CM. Successful treatment of Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate with auranofin. Clin Exp Dermatol 2008; 33:108.
  24. Chen M, Doherty SD, Hsu S. Innovative uses of thalidomide. Dermatol Clin 2010; 28:577.
  25. Guillaume JC, Moulin G, Dieng MT, et al. Crossover study of thalidomide vs placebo in Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. Arch Dermatol 1995; 131:1032.
  26. Laurinaviciene R, Clemmensen O, Bygum A. Successful treatment of Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin with methotrexate. Acta Derm Venereol 2009; 89:542.
  27. Ardavanis A, Orphanos G, Skafida S, et al. Coincidential successful treatment of Jessner-Kanof disease with chemotherapy. Ann Oncol 2008; 19:1360.
  28. Michel JL, Perrin D. [Pulsed dye laser treatment for Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin]. Ann Dermatol Venereol 2010; 137:803.
  29. Borges da Costa J, Boixeda P, Moreno C. Pulsed-dye laser treatment of Jessner lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2009; 23:595.
  30. Park KY, Kim HK, Li K, et al. Photodynamic therapy: new treatment for refractory lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. Clin Exp Dermatol 2012; 37:235.
  31. Gordon Spratt EA, Gorcey LV, Soter NA, Brauer JA. Phototherapy, photodynamic therapy and photophoresis in the treatment of connective-tissue diseases: a review. Br J Dermatol 2015; 173:19.