Aphten usually occur on the mucous membrane of the mouth, but can also grow in the intimate area. The vesicles hurt like hell and sometimes look like herpes. What is the cause behind aphthae and whether household remedies can help against the annoying disease.
First the good news: Aphten are harmless and usually heal on their own. The bad news, however, is that they are extremely painful and can occur again and again. The lenticular vesicles are a very common disease of the mucous membrane. They affect almost everyone at least once in their life. Some people even get an aphta again and again. Women are particularly affected.
Depending on size and appearance, doctors distinguish between different forms of aphthae:
Minor ephets are a maximum of five millimeters in size. This is the most common form of aphthae (90 percent). They form only superficially on the mucous membrane and usually heal again without any problems.
Major ephets are much larger and can reach a diameter of three centimeters. They grow deep into the mucous membrane and heal only slowly. However, they are very rare.
Aphten, which resemble Herpes (HerpetiformeAphten): This variant is still rarer than the Major-Aphte and appears hardly once individually.
Symptoms: How to recognize aphthae
At first, a small, yellowish-white bladder with a reddish edge forms on the mucous membrane, which is filled with fluid. Especially tongue, cheek mucosa and gums are affected. The aphthae hurt, burn and disturb when eating, drinking and sometimes speaking.
Sometimes the blisters simply heal again, others burst open. A crater forms, which in turn hurts and can become inflamed. It can take 14 days until a normal aphte (minor aphte) has healed. No scar forms. With major aphtaae, the healing process takes much longer and a scar remains.
Herpetiform aphthae can be recognized by the fact that they are only pinhead small and occur in large numbers. They are much more painful than other aphthae.
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Aphten: Causes and risk factors
The exact cause of aphten is unknown. However, it is certain that they only form when the mucous membrane is slightly inflamed. The trigger for inflammations of the mucous membrane and thus risk factors for aphthae are considered:
Mechanical irritations, i.e. pressure points in the mouth and on the tongue, e.g. due to badly fitting braces and teeth splints
Hormone fluctuations in women (menstruation)
Stress or other mental stress
lack of minerals and vitamins, especially iron, zinc and vitamin B12
certain foods that contain a lot of acid or sugar
immunodeficiency, e.g. after an infection
In addition, genetic readiness plays a role in the development of aphten. Studies have shown that in some families the mouth blisters occur particularly frequently.
Are aphten contagious and do I have to see a doctor?
Although scientists are discussing whether aphthae can also be triggered by viruses, the current doctrine is that mucosal lesions are not infectious. It seems that using the same cutlery or glass and kissing are irrelevant.
Even herpetiform aphthae are generally not considered contagious. They are not caused by herpes viruses and only look similar to the known lip blisters. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to good hygiene in the case of aphthae so that the stressed mucous membrane does not become inflamed additionally.
If you get an aphta for the first time, you should have it checked by your doctor. After all, it can look similar in the early stages. To rule this out, it is important to have a medical diagnosis made. The dentist or dermatologist can usually clarify this by visual diagnosis and microscope. Even if aphthae are very extensive, recurrent or accompanied by pain in the limbs and fever, a visit to the doctor makes sense.
A special case of the skin disease are aphthae in the genital area. Aphthae on the labia, vagina or penis are very, very rare, but extremely painful. The doctor should also assess this and initiate appropriate treatment. In addition, he can clarify whether a venereal disease or skin cancer causes the symptoms.
Aphten correctly: The best home remedies and medicinal plants
Whether in the mouth or on the genitals: If it is actually an aphta, the doctor will advise cortisone in severe cases. In most cases, however, the following measures are sufficient for the treatment of aphthae in the mouth and in the intimate region:
Rinse with gargle solutions that have a disinfectant (antiseptic) effect.
Local anaesthetic ointments, gels and sprays especially for mucous membranes and mouth
Pay additional attention to good oral hygiene. Clean your teeth, also in the interdental spaces. Make sure, however, that you do not injure the aphta during cleaning.
Because Aphten are so common and in most cases harmless, there is a whole range of home remedies. These include
High-proof alcohol, such as rum: Soak a cotton swab with alcohol and coat the aphta with it (please do not use on children).
Tea tree oil: Dab the aphta several times a day, preferably after eating and drinking, with a cotton swab soaked in tea tree oil. However, some people are allergic to tea tree oil.
Chamomile Extract: Use Aphte Chamomile Extract for external treatment. Its active ingredients disinfect, promote healing and dry out the vesicle.
Myrrhentinktur: The resin of the Commiphoren works antibacterially and relieves inflammations. Myrrh is therefore frequently used to treat minor skin injuries, such as aphthae.
Seven facts about rhubarb: The root of rhubarb contains active ingredients that have proven themselves against inflammation. As a tincture, rhubarb is therefore suitable for the treatment of aphthae. Its tannins shrink the vesicles and dry them out.
Aloe Vera: Coat the aphtae with aloe vera gel, which supports the healing process.
Calendula tincture: Add a few drops of calendula extract to lukewarm water and rinse your mouth several times a day.