While some unequivocally benign infiltrates are easy to distinguish from cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), drug-associated lymphomatoid hypersensitivity reaction and cutaneous lesions of collagen vascular disease can show cytologic atypia, clonality and an immunophenotypic profile that closely simulates CTCL and cause diagnostics difficulties. Similar immunophenotypic and molecular abnormalities to those of malignant lymphoma can also be observed in pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC), large plaque parapsoriasis (LPP), pigmented purpuric dermatosis (PPD) and atypical lymphocytic lobular panniculitis leading one to consider these entities as forms of cutaneous lymphoid dyscrasia. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the distinction of these various subcategories of cutaneous T-cell infiltrates by assessment of T-cell receptor (TCR)-beta gene rearrangement. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin biopsies from 80 patients containing a T-cell dominant lymphocytic infiltrate were analyzed for TCR-beta gene rearrangement. Our findings indicate that monoclonality is a reliable characteristic of CTCL with polyclonality being very infrequent. However, some cases of drug associated lymphomatoid hypersensitivity, collagen vascular disease and the various cutaneous lymphoid dyscrasias (i.e. PLC, PPD and atypical lymphocytic lobular panniculitis) could manifest restricted molecular profiles in the context of an oligoclonal process or frank monoclonality.