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Aphthous ulcers - FAQ

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Aphthous ulcers

Closed ulcers Ė aptha Ė are painful ulcerations of the oral and genital mucous membranes with deep defined edges and a grey base.

Dear Doctor, I would like to know which medicines I can use for aphthous ulcers given that I am 8 months pregnant. Thank you.

Dear Madam, aphthous ulcers are small painful and often recurrent ulcers of the mucous membrane. The cause of aphthous ulcers is unknown and therefore treatment can only be symptomatic (indirectly controlling the symptoms connected with the disease without substantially modifying natural processes). Aphthous ulcers are generally resolved a few weeks after they appear. During the course of pregnancy it is good practice to reduce the use of medicines, using them only in cases of real necessity and choosing medicines that donít have contraindications and harmful effects on the pregnancy. In your case, you can, if need be, use a topical application containing a steroid for a brief period (a few days). Best regards. Dr. Luigi Naldi. Coordinatore Gruppo Italiano Studi Epidemiologici in Dermatologia (GISED).

Hello, My name is (Ö), Iím 32 and for around 3 months now red round stains with white edges have continued to appear on my tongue. They start as little spots and then get bigger until they disappear a few days later. This happens continuously with only a few days respite. I must say though, that they donít hurt theyíre just unpleasant and irritating. The doctor said that they were aphthous ulcers. But can they for that length of time? Lastly, I have had a smear test and I have to have it again because they have found something that isnít right. Could there be some relation between the two? This all happened at the same time that my nieces and nephews caught chickenpox, could that be the centre of it all? With whom should I speak to find out what itís all about? Thank you very much.

Dear Madam, aphthous ulcers are painful ulcerations of the oral cavity and at times the genital region. Other lesions can reoccur with the frequency that you have described, such as geographic tongue. In this case, you observe reddened circular stains with a whitened border. The lesions extend centrifugally and are not associated with pain, just irritating and uncomfortable in some cases. They disappear and reappear continually. Generally the lesions donít have an identifiable cause and are totally benign. I donít believe that there exists a relation between genital problems and the chickenpox of your nephews and nieces. For a clear diagnosis I think it could be useful to consult a dermatologist. Best regards, Dr. Luigi Naldi. Coordinatore Gruppo Italiano Studi Epidemiologici in Dermatologia (GISED).

Iím a man of 50 years. I emigrated to... and at present am on holiday in..., my country of origin. A week ago my tongue appeared swollen on the left side with a yellow colour in the middle part at the root of my tongue, moreover it is very painful and I have a noticeable difficulty in speaking. I spoke with the local medical but he didnít know what to diagnose it as. Thank you for any help you can give me. Yours faithfully.

Dear Sir, It could be a huge aphthous ulcer. An aphthous ulcer can also show itself at the level of the uvula rendering it difficult to speak. Aphthous ulcers are small ulcerations implicated with mucous membranes (more frequently that of the oral cavity). The border is oedematous and the bottom is yellowish. Aphthous ulcers spontaneously resolve themselves after about 1-2 weeks. We donít know why they appear and so treatment is only to relieve pain. It could be useful to consult a dermatologist. Best regards, Dr. Luigi Naldi. Coordinatore Gruppo Italiano Studi Epidemiologici in Dermatologia (GISED).

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