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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: recurring black tongue in infant


 Avolon - Sun May 18, 2008 11:44 pm

When my son was 8mon's old he had a double ear infection and was put on antibiotics. 1week after that he got black tongue and the doctor said that it was because of the antibiotics and that it would go away on its own. It did go away but here 2 months later he has it again but this time he's not on antibiotics. He's not taking any meds other than the occasional tylenol and simethicone for teething and colic. Would his antibiotics from 2 months ago still be causing this problem?
I'm worried because in my web search I've found that black tongue is also seen in people with a lowered immune system, but my son is not sick. I think perhaps I should take my son to a pediatrician instead of a family doctor. Am I just being paranoid? (I sure hope so) Should I ask for blood tests or something?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:02 pm

User avatar Hello -

Black, often also hairy, tongue is remarkably common. Since your son already had it once because of antibiotic use (which is a very common cause when a cause can be found -- so is bismuth as in Pepto Bismol) it's not really surprising it might recur, since that door was opened by the initial episode. While this is one of many signs seen in people with a depressed immune system, there are so many other, more likely causes (including those that are never discovered) that in a healthy child it would likely be pretty far down the list. Candida albicans is a possibility, but still unlikely. If that's the cause it is easily treated and not serious.

I hope this puts your mind at ease. Please do follow up with us here.

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