Treatment Strategies for Recurrent Oral Aphthous Ulcers


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2001;58(1) 

In This Article


RAU is classified as minor, major, and herpetiform.[5,6] Seventy to 87% of all RAU cases are minor. Minor RAU involves the presence of one to five ulcers at a time, with each ulcer less than 1 cm in diameter. These ulcers are self-limiting and resolve in 7-10 days without scarring. Major RAU occurs in 7-20% of affected patients. There are 1-10 ulcers at a time, the ulcers exceed 1 cm in diameter, and they persist for up to six weeks. Major aphthae are a cause of significant dysphagia and often result in extensive scarring. Herpetiform aphthae account for 7-10% of RAU cases. In herpetiform RAU there are 10-100 ulcers at a time, ulcer size is usually 1-3 cm, and the ulcers form clusters that coalesce into widespread areas of ulceration lasting 7-10 days. These ulcers are only herpes-like in appearance; herpes simplex virus has not been cultured from them.


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