Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma


Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma usually starts in the T-lymphocytes which are white blood cells helping the immune system to fight infection. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is one of many types of lymphoma. It is also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a rare type of cancer. The T-cells will become abnormal causing them to attack the skin primarily. This type of lymphoma can cause a red rash, scaly round patch on the skin or tumor. The growth of the disease is usually slow.

The three main subtypes of Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are the following:

  • Mycosis fungoides: This is the common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It only occurs at the skin and progress slowly.
  • Sézary syndrome: It occurs both at the skin and in the bloodstream.
  • CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders: Several of the cutaneous T-cell lymphoma have the potential to expand quickly.


The following are symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma:

  • Round, itchy skin patches that are elevated or scaly in appearance
  • A highly irritating, rash-like skin redness all over the body.
  • Lumps that develop on the skin
  • Skin patches that differ in color with the surrounding skin.
  • Lymph node enlargement or swollen
  • Skin on the palms and soles thickens.
  • Hair loss


The cause of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is unknown. Cancer typically starts when cells’ DNA undergoes alterations (mutations). The DNA of a cell carries instructions that direct the cell’s actions. The DNA changes instruct the cells to expand and divide quickly, producing many abnormal cells. 

The mutations in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma lead to an excess of abnormal T cells that attack the skin. The immune system includes T cells, which typically assist your body in battling infections. The reason the cells attack the skin is still unknown to doctors.