Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire: A case of transient lingual papillitis following consumption of an Atomic Fireball

Dermatol Online J. 2016 May 15;22(5):13030/qt91j9n0kt.


Transient lingual papillitis is a benign condition characterized by the inflammation of one or more fungiform papillae on the dorsolateral tongue. Although it is a common condition that affects more than half of the population, few cases have been reported in the dermatological literature. Therefore, it is a condition uncommonly recognized by dermatologists though it has a distinct clinical presentation that may be easily diagnosed by clinicians familiar with the entity. We report an interesting case of transient lingual papillitis in a 27 year-old healthy woman following the consumption of the hard candy, Atomic Fireball. We describe treatment and resolution of the condition, and its recurrence following re-exposure to the identified culprit. This report further reviews the literature to illustrate the clinical manifestations, etiology, differential diagnosis, course, and treatment of this condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Candy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Glossitis / diagnosis
  • Glossitis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Recurrence