Leukoplakia is marked by the formation of white or gray thickened patches on mucous membranes of cheeks, gums or tongue. The cause for Leukoplakia is still not known. However, it is mainly linked to usage of tobacco and consumption of alcohol. Hairy kind of Leukoplakia is observed during HIV infection which is caused by Epstein-Barr virus. Leukoplakia in long run may lead to oral cancer. Hence, oral examination with the dentist is advisable when the condition is suspected. Dentists send the tissue for biopsy to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. If a biopsy comes back positive for oral cancer, the patch must be removed immediately. This can help prevent its spread.
Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) is found predominantly in HIV-positive patients. OHL has rarely been described in HIV-negative patients. OHL induced by topical steroids remains extremely rare. In France, A study on an 81-year-old HIV-negative woman, treated for 3 months with topical steroids for oral lichen planus, developed OHL. This was only the second recorded case of OHL induced strictly by topical steroids.