What is Lymphomatoid Papulosis & How is it Treated?

What is Lymphomatoid Papulosis?

Lymphomatoid papulosis is a skin disorder which occurs in rare cases and presents with skin lesions. These skin lesions are basically the unusual cells which are similar to the ones found in cancerous cells of lymphatic system. 80% cases of lymphomatoid papulosis disorder are benign but rest of the cases may turn out to be malignant, which have severe health effects. Know the causes of lymphomatoid papulosis, its symptoms and treatment.

Lymphomatoid papulosis, being an internal form of disease, it has many repercussions in the long run and termed as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Being a chronic skin disorder, pruritic papules crop up at different stages and the main areas which get affected are trunk and limbs.

Healing time taken by lymphomatoid papulosis is mostly up to 1 to 2 months, which usually leave the oval shaped scars.

What is Lymphomatoid Papulosis?

Causes of Lymphomatoid Papulosis

The causes of lymphomatoid papulosis is multifactorial. Its association with white cells (also known as T-cell lymphocytes is deep) and one of the main causes of lymphomatoid papulosis is the proliferation of these cells. In the population of millions, some people can fall prey to this skin disorder.

Mostly, Caucasians are subjected to this disorder than the black skinned and people from all the races and sex are affected by this condition. While the exact cause of lymphomatoid papulosis is not known, studies indicate its close association with immune system in which T lymphocyte cells are multiplied abnormally. This is an early stage, which can turn cancerous, but can be controlled if identified and treated in time.

This condition of skin disorder has nothing to do with the genetic factors as its onset is generally from childhood to middle age. Risk factors of lymphomatoid papulosis are related to mycoses fungoides and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some causes of lymphomatoid papulosis are also thought to be related to certain chromosomal changes.

Symptoms of Lymphomatoid Papulosis

Recognizing lymphomatoid papulosis is easier and people suffer from multiple skin lesions in the body, mainly on chest, stomach, back and limbs. Symptoms of lymphomatoid papulosis indicate presence of nodules and papules which are red and brown in color and are usually bumpy and spotted.

Symptoms of lymphomatoid papulosis include itching, which can be mild or moderate. The papules appear on the body in the form of drops which are gradually filled with blood or pus and appear as blisters. Later these pus-filled blisters break to form crust and heal on their own but scars are left even after these blisters have cured.

The size of these lesions are more than 1 cm and up to 3 cm, these skin lesions may increase in size depending upon the severity of disease or may reduce if the symptoms are mild. Patients may get frequent breakouts and marks remain permanently on the body, but when it comes to general health, patient usually remains unaffected.

These symptoms of lymphomatoid papulosis may show raised bumps, which are found anywhere in the body and are usually itchy which one should avoid doing. The skin lesions are sore and crusty before they begin to heal.

How is Lymphomatoid Papulosis Treated?

Treatment of lymphomatoid papulosis is planned after proper diagnosis with skin biopsy. This condition may be easily confused with acute pityriasis lichenoides and many other conditions of skin. Hence correct diagnosis is important.

There are many histopathologic variants like Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D. These are the types of lesions, which can be a cause of cancer and specific types of tests are carried out depending upon the type of lesion and symptoms of lymphomatoid papulosis. Treatment of lymphomatoid papulosis mainly focusses on reducing the symptoms and timely detection of early lymphoma.

Some of the common treatments of lymphomatoid papulosis, which suppress the cause of the disease and the related symptoms include

  • Topical steroid creams
  • Phototherapy (UVB or PUVA)
  • Methotrexate in which the response rate below 100% as the disease relapses after a certain time duration
  • Steroids are also used which are intralesional
  • Usage of anti-inflammatory agents which include tetracycline antibiotics

Talking about the effects of treatment of lymphomatoid papulosis, can last for a lifetime but the patients have to regularly check for symptoms and eruptions of any skin lesions. If the changes have picked up then early lymphoma is for sure there. Many other forms of lymphoma may or may not follow lymphomatoid papulosis but this happen in maximum 25% of the cases and for such patients, long term treatment is required which generally includes follow up.

Some advanced treatments of lymphomatoid papulosis include sunlight therapy and biological therapy, which have boosted patient recovery on a massive scale. If you have been recommended a treatment, then make sure it is based upon cause of the disease and your immunity towards other drugs and medication which may have a long term effects upon your health. By following a healthy diet and exercise, symptoms of lymphomatoid papulosis can be prevented therefore check-ups are mostly the best preventive measures you can take.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 7, 2018

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