JOHN HOWARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN HOWARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Geographic tongue. Male patient sticking out his tongue showing a red pitted map- like surface, giving the condition its common name. Geographic tongue (migratory glossitis) causes the tongue to develop irregular, smooth red areas. It is a common condition whose cause is unknown but thought to be either genetic or connected to allergies. There is no cure, but the condition is benign and relatively painless.
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