- This is a disease of unknown cause
that affects multiple systems in the body. The main
characteristic is recurrent oral and genital ulcers. The
ulcers last for about 1-2 weeks then disappear without
scarring. The typical course is characterized by
- Painful ulcers of the mouth and/or
genitals. The ulcers may be deep or shallow. The base of the
ulcer is usually made of dead, yellow-tinged tissue. The
ulcers may appear alone or in crops.
- Eye involvement may include uveitis
symptoms such as small irregular pupils, gradual visual
loss, hazy vision, and other visual problems.
- Skin may have rash that consists of
red, hard, raised lesions known as erythema
- Blood clots may occur in the legs
with symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness of the affected
- Arthritis, i.e., stiffness, pain,
and swelling, especially in the knees and ankles
- Central nervous system may be
involved with symptoms of muscle weakness or mental
- White blood cell count (leukocytosis), sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein
levels are often elevated.
- Antibodies to human oral mucosa are
- The diagnosis is made by finding symptoms and signs of
the oral and genital ulcers described above, in association
with some or all of the associated symptoms above, i.e.,
clots, arthritis pain,
- Topical corticosteroids in the
ulcers (a paste is often used in the mouth)
(blood clots) are treated with aspirin and Dipyrimadole
- Colchicine and
Interferon-alpha can be beneficial for arthritis symptoms.
- Eye involvement (uveitis) or
central nervous system (CNS) involvement requires oral
corticosteroids (e.g., Prednisone) and stronger immune
suppressants, such as Azathioprine or
- See your physician as soon as possible. Most individuals with this condition have a normal life expectancy. Blindness is usually the most dreaded complication -- which may be prevented by early treatment of the eye symptoms.
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