Six things to remember about ulcers

  • In elderly patients all mouth ulcers should be considered malignant until proved otherwise (Swash, 2001).
  • Mouth ulcers in conjunction with genital ulcers may indicate Behcet's disease (Swash, 2001).
  • Don't forget to take a travel history in any patient with an ulcer.
  • Any unusual ulcers should be reviewed by a senior medical colleague or referred to a dermatologist for biopsy.
  • In high-risk groups an ulcer is syphilis until proved otherwise.
  • Ulcers should be palpated to check for induration (Barkauskas, 2002).
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