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Is that psoriasis on your tongue?

Geographic Psoriasis Tongue

Our tongues are sensitive muscular organs. Covering the tongue are layers of papillae and taste buds which encase our mouths with a delicate balance of flora and mucus, working to keep the environment of the tongue, mouth and gums moist and bacteria-free, fighting infections. When our mouths get infected either by having a viral/bacterial infection it is these papillae that start fighting off the infection.

People often wonder whether a condition called geographic tongue is in fact psoriasis, in theory any part of the body including the mouth could be affected by psoriasis, it is rare, although it is more likely to occur in people with psoriasis. A study published by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology* in 2016 reported:

“ The difficulty however in accepting the diagnosis of geographic tongue as oral psoriasis is the fact that not all patients with geographic tongue present psoriasis. Some authors believe that the prevalence of geographic tongue would be much greater if psoriatic patients underwent thorough oral examination.”

Other studies the authors suggest “…show that geographic tongue is the oral manifestation more commonly associated with psoriatic disease. These studies are based on observation of its fundamental lesions…”

In conclusion, it is again another aspect of psoriatic disease that perhaps needs further consideration when looking at people who present with a number of symptoms, which also suggests the deeper widespread nature of this inflammatory condition.

Learn more about geographic tongue in our knowledge bank


*Geographic tongue and psoriasis: clinical, histopathological, immunohistochemical and genetic correlation - a literature review: Picciani BLS, Domingos TA, Teixeira-Souza T, de Carla Batista dos Santos V, Fernando de Sousa Gonzaga H, Cardoso-Oliveira J, Gripp AC,3 Eliane Pedra Dias EP Carneiro S. An Bras Dermatol. 2016 Jul-Aug; 91(4): 410–421.