One of the most painful and bothersome symptoms of Lupus are mouth and nose ulcers. In this article, learn how many Lupus patients experience ulcers, what causes them, and how to prevent and manage them.
How Many Lupus Patients Experience Ulcers?
Mouth and nose ulcers are part of the diagnostic criteria for Lupus. Between 25 to 45 percent of people with Lupus get mouth or nose ulcers, but ulcers can also appear in the vagina, eyes and anus.
Related: Lupus Diagnosis and Treatment
What Causes Lupus Ulcers?
Ulcers are typically a sign of an upcoming Lupus flare. They can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, pregnancy, vitamin B12 or iron deficiency, NSAIDs or beta blockers.
How Can I Prevent and Manage Lupus Ulcers?
Ulcers usually go away once the flare subsides and are typically not dangerous. However, you can help minimize the discomfort caused by mouth and nose ulcers by:
- Speaking to your healthcare provider about medications that treat Lupus, like antimalarials and steroids, as well as steroid nasal sprays for nose ulcers
- Speaking to your dentist about mouthwashes and toothpastes that aid in the healing process of ulcers
- Using an over-the-counter spray, mouthwash or gel for pain management
- Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, maintaining good oral hygiene and having regular dental checkups
- Using a toothpaste that is free of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
- Avoiding rough, crunchy, spicy, hot or acidic foods and drinks, as well as gum
- Avoiding chocolate, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes and wheat flour, all of which can increase the risk for mouth ulcers