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Behcet Syndrome: All You Need To Know

Behcet Syndrome: All You Need To Know

Behcet’s syndrome refers to the blood vessel inflammation that may infect different parts of the body such as the mouth, eyes, skin, and even the genitals. It was named after Hulusi Behcet, the Turkish dermatologist who was the first to define the condition in modern times after noticing the triad of behcet disease symptoms aphthous mouth ulcers (ulcers that form on mucous membranes), genital lesions, and frequent eye irritation.

It is also known as Adamantiades-Behcet’s syndrome or Silk Road Disease.

Behcet Disease Causes

Behcet’s disease is one of the few types of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) for which a hereditary predisposition has been identified. The presence of the HLA–B51 gene increases the likelihood of developing this condition.

It is important to note, however, that having the gene does not automatically mean you will develop Behcet’s syndrome. Many people may have the gene, but only a small percentage develop Behcet disease symptoms.

Environmental triggers and exposure may also contribute to the development of the condition. Studies show that there are a variety of potential triggers, including viruses (such as the Herpes cold sore virus) and bacterial infections (from smoking, Strep throat, and other kinds of bacteria that dwell in the gut). But researchers have yet to find the underlying cause of Behcet’s syndrome.

A person’s age, sex, and country of residence are risk factors. Men in their 20s to 30s living in the Middle East and East Asian countries (particularly Turkey, Iran, Japan and China, countries where silk trading was in ancient times) are more prone to the disease.

Behcet Disease Symptoms

The most common Behcet disease symptoms involve:

  • Painful mouth sores/ulcers (may initially look like canker sores)
  • Painful genital sores (that may leave scars)
  • Joint pains (on knees, ankles, elbows, or wrists)
  • Recurring eye inflammation (uveitis that can cause the pain, redness, and blurry vision)

Other areas of the body that may be infected by the Behcet disease symptoms are:


Acne-like sores appear on the bodies of some individuals. Others may also show skin lesions particularly on the lower legs. They may also acquire red, elevated, and sensitive nodules on their skin.

Blood Vessels

When a blood clot forms due to inflammation in veins and arteries, it can produce redness, pain, and swelling in the arms and legs. Aneurysms and vascular constriction or blockage can occur as a result of inflammation in the major arteries.

Gastrointestinal (GI) tract

Abdominal pains and symptoms similar to “irritable bowel syndrome” are common in people with the condition. Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation may take place.


People with Behcet’s syndrome frequently complain of headaches, which may be associated with fever. The inflammation in both the brain and nervous system may also induce disorientation, poor balance or stroke.

You should consult with a medical professional when you experience any of these Behcet disease symptoms.

Behcet Disease Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this condition to date. However, doctors may prescribe specific treatments to control and reduce the pain and inflammation experienced from Behcet disease symptoms.

To relieve inflammation and pain, topical corticosteroid drugs such as skin creams, gels, and ointments can be applied directly to the skin and genital sores.

Mouthwashes with corticosteroids and other medicines can also help to relieve the pain of mouth sores.

As for inflammation in the eye, eyedrops with the same or other anti-inflammatory drugs can help decrease the pain and redness.

Key Takeaways

Behcet’s syndrome may look different depending on Behcet disease symptoms that manifest. And treatment prescribed by doctors will depend on these symptoms as well. Changing one’s lifestyle may help lessen the stress experienced by people who may be feeling sore from the inflammation. Moderate exercise may also help a person cope with the situation.

Learn more about Other Cardiovascular Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Behcet’s Disease, https://www.hopkinsvasculitis.org/types-vasculitis/behcets-disease/, Accessed September 21, 2021

Behçet’s Disease, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12980-behcets-disease, Accessed September 21, 2021

Behcet’s Syndrome, https://www.vasculitis.org.uk/about-vasculitis/behcets-disease, Accessed September 21, 2021

Behçet’s Syndrome, https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/behcets-syndrome/, Accessed September 21, 2021

Behcet’s Disease, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/behcets-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351331, Accessed September 21, 2021

Behcet’s Disease, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/behcets-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20351326, Accessed September 21, 2021

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated 3 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD