Although Hodgkin’s lymphoma may cause itchy skin, a rash is very rare. A rash more commonly occurs with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or Hodgkin’s disease, is a blood cancer that begins in your lymphatic system (made up of nodes, organs, and vessels in your body).
It usually develops in your upper body’s B lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help your immune system fight infections.
The main difference between HL and NHL is that HL develops only if you have Reed-Sternberg lymphocytes. These are unusual cells that may have more than one nucleus.
While a rash is a more common symptom of NHL, it’s rare with HL.
Primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma (PCFCL) is the
The development of more effective therapies to treat HL has resulted in fewer cases of it spreading to the skin.
A skin lymphoma rash may consist of
- small lesions, or papules, that look like pimples
- flat lesions
- lesions, called plaques, that are thick, lowered, or raised
- large bumps, or nodules, just below your skin
The rash is typically red to purple and scaly. It may develop on part or most of your body, especially in areas with little sun exposure.
For CTCLs, a doctor may recommend any of the following:
- prescription topical creams containing any of the following:
- psoralen and ultraviolet A (UVA) light, a treatment that combines phototherapy and UVA light with psoralen drugs that destroy cancer cells when exposed to UV light
- phototherapy with ultraviolet B light, typically used for thin lesions
The following are the answers to common questions about lymphoma rash.
Does Hodgkin’s lymphoma cause itching?
You may experience itchy skin without a rash with HL. The itchiness may be due to chemicals called cytokines that your immune system produces in reaction to the lymphoma.
These may irritate your nerve endings, causing itchiness throughout your body or in your hands, feet, or lower legs, especially at night.
Does lymphoma skin rash come and go?
Skin symptoms from T-cell lymphoma (the most common skin lymphoma) tend to come and go.
What are the early symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
While a rash may be the first symptom of NHLs like mycosis fungoides, it’s not likely to indicate HL. The
The lump is usually painless but may become painful when you drink alcohol. On the other hand, an enlarged lymph node due to an infection or other cause typically hurts when you touch it.
You should contact a doctor if you have a swollen lymph node but don’t have an infection.
A skin rash isn’t a common symptom of HL. It occurs more often with NHL. But your skin may be itchy without a rash.
To treat a lymphoma rash, a doctor may prescribe topical creams or recommend phototherapy.