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Worried about Hairy Leukoplakia
Apr 24, 2000

Dear Dr. Reznik:

I am terrified that I have symptoms of HIV infection based on looking at your pictures and reading your descriptions. My description doesn't quite fit all your symptoms and I was hoping you could help.

I have a coated tongue but it is not very white. I used to smoke and am not too worried about this.

As I was looking at my tongue I noticed "vertical corrugations" on the sides of my tongue. There is no white patches anywhere that I can see.

I was worried that this might be a very mild form or early stage of hairy leukoplakia.

What do you think? I went for an HIV test but haven't received the results yet.

Please Help!!!

Terrified

Response from Dr. Reznik

I cannot offer much help in this matter other than to say you have taken the most important step, having the HIV diagnostic test performed. It may be useful to note that there are several potential causes of "vertical corrugations" on the lateral border of the tongue, including but not limited to oral hairy leukoplakia. These 'lines' could be caused by something as simple as irritation due to rubbing your tongue against a rough edge on a tooth.

DR


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