What You Need to Know About Behcet’s Disease

Rohan Mathew

In 1937, Turkish dermatologist Hulusi Behcet made the medical community aware of a disease in which patients had frequent flareups of eye inflammation, oral ulcers, genital ulcers, and skin ulcers.

Although the disease became well known through Hulusi’s studies, he wasn’t the first to report a disease in which patients described similar symptoms. Since its discovery, Behcet’s disease has managed to evade many medical scientists, and still, much isn’t known about the disease. 

Have you recently received a diagnosis of Behcet’s disease or think that you may have it? Keep reading below for more information. 

What Is Behcet’s Disease?

Behcet’s disease is a multisystem inflammatory disease that infrequently affects 1 in 100,000 people a year all over the world. Studies have found that Behcet’s disease affects men more than women, as the disease physically attacks the major organs in men.  

Other names for Behcet’s disease are:

  • Adamantiades-Behcet disease,
  • Behcet triple symptom complex
  • Malignant aphthosis.

Although Behcet’s disease is not hereditary, a person’s genetics can play a factor in whether or not they will suffer from the condition. The disease usually affects people ranging from the age of 18-35, but can affect anyone during any age or stage in their life. Environmental factors contribute to Behcet’s disease and most cases are within Mediterranean and Asian countries. 


Currently, there aren’t any tests that can solely determine if a person has Behcet’s disease and diagnosis from a doctor will primarily be based on a patient’s symptoms. However, a blood or pathergy test may be done to see if a patient has an underlying infection or autoimmune disorder that could be the result of Behcet’s disease. 

You will need to have a combination of at least two of the symptoms, and the symptoms must reoccur multiple times a year to get a Behcet’s disease diagnosis.   

Behcet’s Disease Symptoms

Symptoms and side effects of Behcet’s disease can include: 

  • Eye inflammation
  • Recurring Genital ulcers
  • Recurring Mouth ulcers
  • Erythema nodosum
  • Arthritis 
  • Vascular disease

The Cause of Behcet’s Disease

As of now, the cause of Behcet’s disease is unknown, but it is commonly linked to the HLA-B gene.

Websites like Umbrella Scientific can provide a comprehensive genetic analysis to check for variations in your HLA-B gene that may be linked to Behcet’s disease. 

Behcet’s Disease Treatment

Depending on any other health issues you may have, your doctor may choose to prescribe medication to control inflammatory outbreaks (eye inflammation, ulcers), and assist with improving and controlling your immune system. 

Corticosteroid medicines in the form of ointments, gels, lotions, and other creams can be used to control scars left behind on the skin from healed surface sores. Additionally, these oils, gels, lotions, and creams can be used to reduce inflammation and pain when applied directly to the skin or genital ulcer outbreak.

You can get a medical mouth wash for mouth sores, and medical drops for eye disease or eye inflammation.  

Living With Behcet’s Disease

There isn’t a cure for Behcet’s disease, but there is support. If you have recently gotten a Behcet’s disease diagnosis, seek support from an online or in-person support group.

Also, be sure to support your body’s immunes system with a healthy diet and exercise, and give your body a break by resting during ulcer or other inflammation flareups.

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