By Gary M. White, MD

Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate

Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate (JLI) is a benign T-cell infiltrate of the skin of unknown cause. Some experts combine this entity with lupus erythematosus tumidus.


Erythematous, red, non-scaly, infiltrated papules, plaques, and arcs of the face, arms, and trunk occur in Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate. It is most common in adults, but may rarely affect children.


ANA, Ro, and La should be checked to exclude lupus, and a biopsy performed. In fact, the distinction between lupus erythematosus tumidus and JLI is not that clear.


Treatment is not necessary. If needed and the lesions are few, intralesional triamcinolone can be effective. For more widespread lesions, a potent topical or even systemic corticosteroid may be used. An antimalarial (e.g., hydroxychloroquine) may clear the lesions.

One report showed complete clearing of facial JLI with methotrexate 15 mg/week in a woman. The pulsed dye laser gave excellent results in 5 patients [Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Dec;137(12):803-7]. Other treatments that have had variable success include thalidomide, prozaquone and oral auranofin.

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Jessner lymphocytic infiltrate


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