Behcet's Syndrome is a condition that involves three primary symptoms:
- recurrent mouth ulcers
- genital ulcers
- inflammation of an area in the pupil of the eye: The inflammation of the eye is called uveitis from the name of that part of the eye, which is the uvea.
The cause of Behcet's syndrome is not known.
- This disease is common among people who originate from Eastern Mediterranean and Asia.
- Genetic and environment factors can come into play when it comes to the development of this condition.
- But it's important to remember that this is not contagious.
Symptoms depend on the body parts affected. This can involve inflammation of one or several areas of the body.
Some of the body parts that can be affected include:
- arteries that supply blood to the tissues
- veins that bring blood back to the lungs
- veins that carry oxygen to the rest of the body
- back of the eyes
The mouth and genital ulcers can bring pain to the patient. They usually range in few to 20 millimeters in diameter.
The mouth ulcers can occur in following areas:
- mouth's inner lining
The genital ulcers that appear on the penis and scrotum of men as well as the vulva of women may leave scars.
The inflammation of the eye that occurs in the uvea or retina can result in blindness.
It has following symptoms:
- pain when looking at lights
- blurred vision
For arteries that are inflamed, the results can be:
- stroke if the brain arteries are affected
- blood clots
- belly pain
The skin can also have raised, tender nodules that are reddish in color.
Other symptoms include:
- neck stiffness
- stiffness/tenderness of the joints
The diagnosis of this condition is based on the findings of recurrent mouth ulcers combined with any of the following:
- genital ulcers
- eye inflammation
- skin abnormalities
Pathergy Test: Usually, a pathergy test is done. This is a special test that can detect Behcet's syndrome. In this test, the skin on the forearm is pricked using sterile needle. If the puncture causes a sterile red nodule or pustule larger than 2 millimeters in diameter for 24 to 48 hours, this means that the person is positive on Behcet's syndrome.
Other tests may also be done depending on the symptoms present.
These tests include:
- lumbar punctures
- skin biopsy
Treatment of this condition varies according to the location and severity of the symptoms.
- Doctors may recommend the use of steroid or cortisone gels, pastes, and creams for the mouth and genital ulcers.
- Recurrent ulcerations may be minimized with the use of Colchicine.
- Joint inflammation meanwhile may be treated using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral steroids.
- Colchicine and oral and injectable cortisone may be prescribed for joint, eye, brain, or skin inflammation.
- Those with arthritis find relief in Sulfasalazine.