Balanitis Circumscripta Plasmacellularis is a rare, benign inflammatory skin condition of the glans penis. It should be distinguished from the nastier and equally impressive-sounding neoplastic erythroplasia of Queyrat.

The disease is reported in middle-aged and elderly uncircumcised men who present with a single shiny reddish orange lesion on the glans or prepuce. There may be mild itching, pain or bleeding. The cause is unknown but poor hygiene, infection and autoimmune hypersensitivity have been proposed as predisposing factors.

Diagnosis is confirmed by histology which shows the characteristic plasma cell infiltrate and epidermal atrophy. Medical treatment includes topical tacrolimus or fusidic acid. Surgically, carbon dioxide lasers have been used but definitive treatment remains circumcision, which is curative.

The fantastically named J.J. Zoon first described the condition in an article in Dermatologica in 1952. According to his obituary, Professor Zoon (1902-1958) "was a man of robust physical and mental stature who though harried by illness...". Unfortunately, my copyright access was limited to this single intriguing fragment. Imagination must suffice for the rest of Professor Zoon's story and his peculiar road to immortality.



Professor J. J. Zoon (1958) OBITUARY. British Journal of Dermatology 70 (5), 186–186.

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