There is currently no information available on illness perception in primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL). The aim of this study was therefore to gather initial information on disease understanding and interpretation in patients with CTCL. Consecutive patients from a hospital-based primary cutaneous lymphoma ward completed the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) on 2 consecutive visits. A total of 24 patients with different variants of CTCL were included in the study. Patients experienced their condition as being long-lasting, but not fundamentally affecting their lives. Patients had poor belief in personal control, but strong belief in treatment control. They did not show a good understanding of their disease, and had a moderately negative emotional response to their illness. In conclusion, the IPQ-R provides a feasible and reproducible tool for measurement and better understanding of illness perception in patients with CTCL. Knowledge of patients' attitudes towards their disease should enable optimization of the patient-physician relationship and patient care.