How are pediatric aphthous ulcers treated?

Updated: Feb 25, 2019
  • Author: Michael C Plewa, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The primary goals of medical therapy in patients with aphthous ulcers (canker sores) are pain relief, maintenance of fluid and nutrition intake, early resolution, and prevention of recurrence. Most patients with minor or herpetiform aphthae should be treated empirically before extensive and costly studies are initiated. Treatment of recurrent aphthous ulcers (canker sores) typically includes anti-inflammatory and/or symptomatic therapy, whereas immunomodulators are rarely used, except in severe, refractory cases. Many, if not all, of the therapies listed below have not specifically been studied in children.

Anti-inflammatory agents include corticosteroids, amlexanox and metalloprotease inhibitors. Treatment at onset may reduce symptoms or eliminate ulcer development.

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