An 8-year-old boy presented with painful
erythematous papules over tongue and excessive salivation
for 3 days. On examination, tongue was studded with multiple
erythematous tender papules and few vesicles (Fig. 1)
Submental and submandibular nodes were enlarged and
non-tender. The lesions resolved completely after 10 days.
The condition was diagnosed as Eruptive lingual papillitis
(ELP) based on typical presentation – acute onset, painful
lesions on tongue only (no other mucosal or skin lesions)
and excessive salivation.
Fig. 1 Multiple
erythematous papules and few vesicles over tongue.
Excessive salivation can be appreciated.
ELP is an acute self-limiting condition,
probably of viral origin, involving the fungiform papillae
of tongue of children. Fever, difficulty in feeding,
salivation and cervical adenopathy are usually associated.
Spontaneous involution is seen in 2-15 days but may recur.
Differential diagnoses are Strawberry tongue of scarlet
fever (widespread erythema and minute papules on skin),
hand-foot-mouth disease (vesicles on palms and soles), and
food allergy. There is no specific treatment apart from.
maintaining oral hygiene.