Source: The New England Journal of Medicine
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

Health

Here's All You Need To Know About 'Black Hairy Tongue'

Written By Diyali Banerjee | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • A woman came for treatment after she noticed an unnatural growth of black hair on her tongue.
  • According to a case report published on Thursday, September 6, in the New England Journal of Medicine, the condition is known as 'Black Hairy Tongue.

Heath issues are scary, but unnatural growth on our body is worse. This woman from England freaked out after she noticed an unnatural growth of black hair on her tongue. According to a case report published on Thursday, September 6, 2018, in the New England Journal of Medicine, the condition is known as 'Black Hairy Tongue'. The magazine described the incident saying that this 55-year-old woman came up with this rare medical problem.

Here's how it looks:

(Source: The New England Journal of Medicine)

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The disease was possibly caused as she had been taking the antibiotic minocycline to heal an infection after she got in a car accident. Within a week, she reportedly suffered from nausea and a bad aftertaste in her mouth. Her tongue was covered with a layer of black fur like thing, as the pictures put out in the report shows. Dr. Yasir Hamad, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine and an author of the report further stated that the patient had a "typical textbook case" of the condition.

However, he explained, that these were are not originally hair that grows on one's tongues and stated that the condition typically occurs when papillae normal bumps on the tongue's surface grow longer than normal because they're not shedding dead cells properly, thus giving the tongue a furry appearance. This particular type of mouth disorder is often linked to taking high dose antibiotics and improper oral hygiene. The study suggests that when the mouth is not washed properly and bacteria or other microbes accumulate on the elongated papillae, causing the black discolouration. Moreover, the reports stated that residue from nicotine products or tea or coffee can also contribute to the dark texture. 

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However, the exact reason that leads to this particular condition is still not clear and thus doctors can't justify how antibiotics or other factors may trigger the condition. According to media reports, the studies indicate that it can occur in 0.6% to 11.3% of the population. However, doctors suggest that the disease is curable in most of the cases. For example, the woman reportedly healed after four weeks of not consuming minocycline, which was allegedly the cause of the 'Black Hair Tongue' in her case. Her tongue returned to its normal state, the report concluded. 

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