Oral cavity & oropharynx

Potentially malignant & dysplasia

Smokeless tobacco keratosis



Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Minor changes: 13 October 2020

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PubMed Search: Smokeless tobacco keratosis

Charu Thakral, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 1,478
Page views in 2021 to date: 1,417
Cite this page: Thakral C. Smokeless tobacco keratosis. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavitysmokelesstobacco.html. Accessed December 8th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Occurs in users of smokeless tobacco (snuff) or tobacco chewers
  • Severity related to length of exposure and tobacco brand
  • Reversible with cessation of use (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2004;128:e17)
Gross description
  • Filmy, gray-white opalescence at areas of contact with tobacco
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Parakeratosis or hyperorthokeratosis with parakeratin spires ("chevrons"), acanthosis, mild chronic inflammation and PAS+ marked hyalin deposition resembling amyloid
Differential diagnosis
  • Hyalinosis cutis et mucosae: deposition begins around vessels, eccrine glands and epithelial-stromal interface, then fills entire dermis of all oral mucosa, tongue, pharynx, larynx and vocal cords
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