Hairy Tongue

Hairy tongue is due to hyperplasia and elongation of the filiform papillae, which form hair-like overgrowths on the dorsum. The filaments can be several millimetres long. The colour varies from pale brown to intense black. The discoloration is due to proliferation of chromogenic bacteria and fungi. Hairy tongue is usually seen in older individuals, and smoking, antiseptic mouthwashes, antibiotics and a diet lacking abrasive foodstuffs are the most common predisposing factors. The dorsum of the tongue may also become blackened without elongation of the filiform papillae by antibiotic mouthwashes such as tetracycline and iron compounds. Hairy tongue is rarely biopsied. Microscopically, it is characterised by irregular, hyperplastic filiform papillae showing hyperorthokeratosis or hy-perparakeratosis with numerous bacterial conglomerates and filamentous organisms in the surface layers and more deeply between fronds of epithelium. It has been shown by immunocytochemical analysis of keratin expression that in black hairy tongue there is defective desquamation of cells in the central column of the filiform papillae. This results in the typical highly elongated, cornified spines that are the characteristic feature of the condition [110].

Mole Removal

Mole Removal

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