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Recurrent aphthous stomatitis

Sylvia Brice, MD
Section Editor
Robert P Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), also known as "canker sores," is a common disease of the oral and, occasionally, genital mucosa characterized by the repeated development of one to many discrete, painful ulcers that usually heal within 7 to 14 days [1-6]. The lesions are typically 3 to 5 mm, round to oval ulcers with a peripheral rim of erythema and a yellowish adherent exudate centrally. The process may range in severity, with some patients noting only an occasional lesion and others experiencing such frequent episodes that they have almost continuous ulcer activity [1-6].

This topic will discuss the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and management of RAS. Other causes of oral and/or genital ulceration are discussed separately.

(See "Oral lesions".)

(See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Behçet's syndrome".)

(See "Approach to the patient with genital ulcers".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 16, 2017.
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