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Description

Zoon Balanitis is the eponym used for balanitis chronica circumscripta plasmacellularis, a benign dermatological condition of the male genitalia. It is described as a chronic, idiopathic, benign skin lesion that occurs on the glans penis, most commonly in middle- to old-aged men.

The skin lesions are well-cicrcumscribed, orange-red lesions with a glazed appearance, and often mutliple “cayenne pepper spots” – pinpoint redder spots within the solitary lesion. The clinical diagnostic criteria include:

  • shiny, erythematous patches on the glans/prepuce/both
  • present >3/12
  • absence of lichen planus/psoriatic lesions elsewhere on the bodt
  • poor response to topical therapies
  • absence of concurrent infections

Histopathological diagnosis is, however, recommended to differentiate Zoon’s balanitis from other, similar, dermatological diseases – most importantly erythroplasia of Queyrat (SCC in situ). Other differentials include candidiasis, lichen planus, secondary syphilis, fixed drug eruption, allergic contact dermatitis, genital herpes, pemphigus vulgaris, flexural psoriasis and Reiter’s disease.

Management: Circumcision is the recommended definitive management of Zoon’s balanitis.


History

1949Johannes Jacobus Zoon (1902-1958) presented a series of three male patients with chronic, well-circumscribed balanitis at a meeting of the Dutch Society of Dermatologists.

1950 – Zoon published in Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde and later in Dermatologica (1952). Zoon described “balanitis chronica circumscripta plasmacellularis“, a condition he identified in males with chronic balanitis. It is described as a chronic, idiopathic, benign skin lesion that occurs on the glans penis, most commonly in middle- to old-aged men.


Associated Persons

Alternative names
  • Zoon’s Balanitis
  • Balanitis von Zoon
  • Balanitis chronica circumscripta plasmacellularis
  • Plasma cell balanitis of Zoon

Controversies

Did they first describe or popularise or plagiarise?


References

Historical references

Eponymous term review

  • list

eponymictionary

the names behind the name

MB, BCh, BAO LRCP & SI (Hons). Graduated RCSI Dublin May 2021. Currently working in Western Australia as a junior doctor. Interests include Urology and General Surgery.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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