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Image Number 4847 (Pigmented fungiform papillae of the tongue)


Diagnosis: Pigmented fungiform papillae of the tongue

Site: Tongue

Sex: F

Age: 22


Description: Diffuse dotted pigmentation

Submitted by: Nameer Al-Sudany

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Differential Diagnosis


 A 22-year-old female cosmetically bothered by asymptomatic brownish pigmentation of anterior half of the dorsal surface of the tongue of two years duration. She is not smoker with history of previous drug intake, no similar FH,  no systemic symptoms or finding and she had normal hormonal status.

PIGMENTED FUNGIFORM PAPILLAE OF THE TONGUE (PEPT) was first described in 1905 as a benign condition of oral pigmentation. Among the reported cases, the vast majority occurred in African Americans, indicating that the black ethnic group is more susceptible to it than other groups. Some cases have been described in Asian and Indian populations, but it is considered rare in the Middle East. PFPT may begin during late infancy but usually occurs in the second and third decade of life with a predilection for females. Trying to treat this would be as inappropriate as trying to change the color of your eyes from brown to blue. There would be no predictable, safe way to change the pigmentation of the fungiform papillae, and any attempts to do so could produce a result that would look much worse. 

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