Lymphomatoid Papulosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Lymphomatoid Papulosis (LyP) is a rare skin disorder that involves cancerous looking skin lesions. It is more than a skin condition; it is the mildest of the indolent, cutaneous t-cell lymphomas. These lesions are actually benign (not harmful), although they have T-cells that resemble abnormal tumors in lymphomas. Most patients don’t have lymphoma when they are diagnosed with this conditon; only 20% of patients with lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) develop more extensive lymphoma at any point in their lifetime (before, during, or after diagnosis).

The incidence of this disease in the United States is 1.9 cases per one million people, so it is extremely rare. Hodgkin’s disease, mycosis fungoides, and large cell lymphoma are associated with the disease for patients who are, in fact, diagnosed with lymphoma.

Diagnosis of Lymphomatoid Papulosis

Patients present with raised bumps on the skin that may develop into blood or pus-filled blisters. These papules (lesions) may become crusty or itchy. They are usually found on the chest, back, stomach, arms or legs. Lesions usually heal on their own within a few weeks of their appearance, and they leave behind no visual scarring.

A diagnosis is made via skin biopsy. The lesions may be type A, type B, or type C, depending on their appearance.

Treatment for Lymphomatoid Papulosis

Since these lesions typically heal on their own, there is no cure for the disease. Some topical treatments have been used in clinical trials, as well as the chemotherapy agent methotrexate. However, these treatments only ease symptoms until the body heals on its own. This can take several years.

Photo: Pexels

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