Squamous Papilloma
What is a Squamous Papilloma?

Squamous papillomas (SP) are common warty growths
found in the mouth (they account for 3 - 4% of all biopsied
oral soft tissue lesions).

SP’s of the mouth occurs at all ages of life but is usually
diagnosed in persons between 30 - 50 years of age.

There is no gender predilection and any surface of the
mouth may be affected (most commonly though on the
tongue, lips or cheek surfaces).

What is the Cause of Squamous Papilloma?

Many are thought to be due to viral infection of the skin by
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a commonly occurring
virus that is also responsible for the
common wart (Verruca

While all
HPV lesions are infective, the SP appears to have
extremely low virulence and infectivity rate; it does not
seem to be contagious.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Typical presentation of the SP is of painless, solitary or
multiple nodules measuring between 0.5cm to 3cm.

It is usually white but sometimes pink and has long or short
surface projections with rounded or pointed ends.  It often
is on a stalk and only one lesion is usually found.  Once
present, it remains indefinitely.
Photo of Squamous Papilloma on left tongue ventrum
How is it treated?

The SP is treated effectively by simple surgical excision or
scraping (curettage) of the base of the SP and a small area
of the surrounding normal tissue.

Alternative treatments include
cryotherapy and topical
of keratinolytic agents (usually containing
salicylic acid and lactic acid).

Recurrence is seen in a small proportion of treated cases.

Useful Websites:

Bond's Book of Oral Diseases (4th Edition) / The
Maxillofacial Center for Diagnostics & Research

Brown Medical School, Digital Pathology
Last Updated 18th August 2010