It's A Slow Grow


For more than two years, this 40-year-old African-American woman has had a lesion on her left maxilla. While it does not cause pain or discomfort, its presence is alarming to the patient. The lesion has grown steadily without responding to various topical OTC medications (tolnaftate, clotrimazole, miconazole, 1% hydrocortisone cream), oral anti-yeast medication, and antibiotics (fluconazole, erythromycin).

The patient claims to be in excellent health otherwise. She reports a strong family history of autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

There is an oval, scaly, atrophic patch on the upper left maxilla, just below the left nostril. The lesion measures 1.2 cm, has well-defined margins, and appears darker than the patient’s type V skin.

No redness or edema are seen, and no nodes are palpable in the area. Examination of the adjacent oral mucosal surface shows nothing amiss.

Under sterile conditions, and after local anesthesia (1% lidocaine with epinephrine) is administered, a 3-mm punch biopsy is obtained from the center of the lesion. The defect is closed with two interrupted nylon sutures.

What is the diagnosis?

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