Lymphomatoid papulosis is a skin disease manifesting as self healing papules and nodules which erupt and regress suddenly. It is a rare skin disorder. Only one out of one million people may suffer from this condition. The lesions of lymphomatoid papulosis are actually benign, but microscopically they look cancerous. This is because the cells of this lesion appear abnormal, just like those found in certain type of lymphomas. Cancer of lymphatic system and lymph nodes is termed as lymphoma.
The onset of disease can occur anytime between childhood and middle age. Although lymphomatoid papulosis is a non cancerous condition, 10 to 20 percent of patients may also simultaneously suffer from lymphoma.There is no permanent cure of this condition. However, the lesions may subside for a long time and return back. Treatment includes steroid cream for local application or PUVA therapy or immune suppressant drugs.
Possible Causes For Lymphomatoid Papulosis
The exact cause of lymphomatoid papulosis is not known. But it is considered to be a disease related to immune system which has its manifestation on skin. This condition is associated with sudden and abnormal multiplication of atypical T lymphocyte cells. T lymphocytes are one type of white blood cells.
Risk factors are not known, but in almost 10 percent of patients this disease is associated with other disorders such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mycoses fungoides.
Lymphomatoid papulosis is rare skin condition. Only one in one million of population may suffer from this condition. It is not a contagious or hereditary condition. It usually develops from childhood to middle age. Men and women are equally afflicted but the condition is often seen more in Caucasians than black skinned people.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lymphomatoid Papulosis
Patients suffering from lymphomatoid papulosis may have few or multiple skin lesions on body, mainly on chest, back, stomach, upper and lower limbs. The skin lesions typically develop as red –brown papules and nodules (bumps and spots).
The papules occur in drops which may produce mild to moderate itching. Gradually the papules form into pus or blood filled blisters which over a period of time breakdown and form crust that later on heal on its own. Sometime it leaves behind scars.
The skin lesions are usually less than 1cm but may enlarge up to 2 to 3 cm in size. The skin lesions develop suddenly and heal within few weeks. Sometimes the lesions may recede after a long period before another bout of emergence. This phenomenon of appearance and disappearance of lymphomatoid papulosis skin lesions continues for many years but it does not harm the general health of the patient.
Treatment For Lymphomatoid Papulosis
Lymphomatoid papulosis can be diagnosed after physical examination and biopsy of the timorous skin lesion. Lymphomatoid papulosis is an incurable disease and treatment is intended to alleviate symptoms. Often treatment is not required as the skin lesions heal itself after a period of time.
Depending on the severity and symptoms some patients feel better after applying steroidal cream and ointment over the lesions. This is possible if there is less number of lesions. In case of multiple crops and lesions all over the body, PUVA therapy is the choice of treatment. Some doctors also prefer immune suppressant drugs to their patients.