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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Geographic tongue

Other Names for this Disease
  • Benign migratory glossitis
  • Ectopic geographic tongue
  • Erythema migrans
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Geographic tongue is a condition that causes lesions on the tongue that resemble psoriasis of the skin. The lesions may also occasionally occur in the mucosa of the mouth and labia; this condition is called areata migrans. The lesions typically disappear from one area and move to another. [1][2][3]
Last updated: 7/9/2013


  1. Cummings: Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, 3rd ed. Mosby-Year Book, Inc; 1998;
  2. Rakel: Conn's Current Therapy 2007, 59th ed.. Saunders; 2007;
  3. Gonsalves WC, Chi AC, Neville BW. Common Oral Lesions: Part I. Superficial Mucosal Lesions. American Family Physician. February 2007;
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Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated has an information page on geographical tongue.  You can read more about the condition by visiting the link below.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Geographic tongue. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.