Bizarre condition makes tongue resemble a geographic map

April 1, 2015 12:01 PM

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Bizarre condition makes tongue resemble a geographic map

A mysterious condition that gives the tongue a mottled appearance that can sometimes resemble a map of the continents has long baffled scientists, but new research may offer some clues to its causes.

Known as "geographic tongue," the condition causes red, patchy shapes to appear on the tongue, formed as some areas lose the tiny reddish bumps called papillae that normally cover the tongue's surface. The condition is harmless for the people who have it, but it is chronic, and affects about 2 perce...

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