Behcet's Disease

This disease or syndrome is found in very few individuals who get the effects of the disease in cycles. It causes inflammation in the blood vessels throughout the body. The disease has a lot of symptoms that are very common. The extent to which the symptoms affect the individual depends on the immune system of the person. The causes of this disease can be both genetic or environmental changes. It has no cure but treatment can help reduce the effects of the symptoms and also prevent permanent blindness.

What are the Symptoms of Behcet's Disease

The symptoms of Behcet's disease and their effects tend to vary from individual to individual and change based on the affected area. Some areas that are commonly affected by the disease and their effects are listed below.

Areas affected

  1. Mouth - Painful mouth sores in the mouth are a very common symptom of the disease. The sores begin as small red lesions and grow to become very painful mouth ulcers. These sores can last from one week to about three weeks and tend to recur a lot.
  2. Skin - Recurring skin lesions are very common in people with the disease. Although it is common with people affected by the Behcet's disease, the effects are different. Some develop small acne-like sores while others get big red tender nodules on the skin.
  3. Genitals - Another common site where people develop lesions when affected by the disease. It is very painful and might leave scars too.
  4. Eyes - One of the major complications due to the disease is when the eyes of the individual are affected. The blood vessels in the retina suffer inflammation, there can be serious effects like a blurred vision in one or both eyes. If left untreated can lead to loss of vision.
  5. Digestive system - When affecting the blood vessels in the digestive system, the effects can be abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding.
  6. Brain - Major complications like stroke or loss of orientation are observed with people affected by the disease. These complications are very rare and occur when inflammation is observed in blood vessels near or in the brain.

Tests and Diagnosis

There exist no definitive tests or scans that can be used to confirm the presence of the disease in a person. The doctor you refer might use several methods or steps to confirm the existence of the disease. But recently criteria have been established that are common with people having the disease. But it is not necessary to have all of these to have the disease.

  1. Mouth sores - People affected by this condition definitely have mouth sores that keep recurring. Doctors usually consider the person to be affected by Behcet's disease if the sores recur at least 3 times within a 12 month period.

Other symptoms

Genital sores that recur are also considered a good symptom of the disease. Inflammation in the eyes which lead to blurred vision being the serious complication with the disease, an ophthalmologist can link the issue to Behcet's disease after some observation. A variety of skin sores and acne-like patches are also very common among the people with the disease. A positive pathergy test is also a very good symptom that can be associated with this syndrome.

A minimum of 2 of these with recurring mouth sores are the major identification parameters of the disease and your doctor might suggest a specialist take treatment for symptoms of the disease as it is very rare.


There is no cure for the condition and so only treatments to decrease the symptoms are available.

  1. Skin creams and ointments - To reduce the pain and inflammation in skin and genitals, the use of creams containing suppressors for the inflammation along with an antiseptic is used.
  2. Mouthwashes - Special mouthwashes containing corticosteroids to ease the pain and reduce inflammation in the blood vessels are used to decrease the effect of the mouth sores.
  3. Eye drops - To reduce the inflammation in the eyes and reduce the effects of mild blurring, drops can be used.

Other treatment methods used in case of severe effects of the disease vary from person to person and are to be prescribed by the doctor.

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