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February 1984

Oral Leukoedema

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, and the University of Toronto Medical School.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(2):264-266. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650380124028

Leukoedema was first described by Sandstead and Lowe1 in 1953. This disorder of the mouth affects the buccal and labial mucosal surfaces. The name refers to the lesion's white clinical appearance ("leuko") and to the intracellular "edema" noted histopathologically.2

Report of a Case  A healthy 20-year-old white man had rough-surfaced white patches on his oral mucosa for as long as he could remember. The patient denied biting his cheek. He was a nonsmoker, and no other family member had a similar condition.Examination revealed widespread scattered intraoral patches of white, opaque, rough-surfaced mucosa on both cheeks and on the mucous membrane surface of the lower lip (Figs 1 and 2). No other mucosal sites were involved. These lesions persisted when the mucosa was stretched, and they could not be scraped off with a tongue blade. No intervening areas of mucosal erosions or ulcera

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