A digital manual for the early diagnosis of oral neoplasia
Oral hairy leukoplakia
Oral hairy leukoplakia is a condition characterized by linear hairy plaques seen on the lateral margin of the tongue and/or buccal mucosa, usually seen in patients infected with Epstein-Barr virus. Oral hairy leukoplakia is seen in immunocompromised patients, e.g. HIV infection or organ transplant recipients. These lesions are generally asymptomatic and do not require any treatment except for the underlying causes like HIV infection. If there is any discomfort, cryotherapy or surgical removal can be considered. The diagnosis is mainly based on the clinical appearance. However if this is seen in patients without known immunosuppression, HIV testing and evaluation to rule out other immunosuppressive states should be done.