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however, it can cause hairy leukoplakia patches to develop at any time. Outbreaks are more common in people with hiv or other immune problems. What is oral hairy leukoplakia? Oral hairy leukoplakia is a condition triggered by the epstein-barr virus (ebv). Leukoplakia causes, symptoms and treatment leukoplakia (also leukoplasia) is a medical term describing white lesions that develop in the oral cavity when cells within the mucous membrane change. These lesions may appear on the inner cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, floor or roof of the mouth. Tongue lesions hairy leukoplakia is hairy in nature, caused by virus and has an underlying disease like hiv. What causes hairy leukoplakia? Hairy leukoplakia is associated with epstein-barr virus (ebv), the cause of glandular fever, as ebv receptors have been found in surrounding normal mucosal surfaces. It is unclear whether hairy leukoplakia develops after superinfection with ebv or activation of a latent infection due to a weakening of the immune system. Leukoplakia is different from other causes of white patches such as thrush or lichen planus because it can eventually develop into oral cancer. 5 of people with leukoplakia will develop squamous cell carcinoma , a common type of skin cancer. Hairy leukoplakia is a white patch on the side of the tongue with a corrugated or hairy appearance. It is caused by epstein-barr virus (ebv) and occurs usually in persons who are immunocompromised, especially those with human immunodeficiency virus infectionacquired immunodeficiency syndrome (hivaids). The white lesion, which cannot be scraped off, is benign and does not require any.