Six things to remember about ulcers

• In elderly patients all mouth ulcers should be considered malignant until proved otherwise (Swash, 2001).

• Mouth ulcers in conjunction with genital ulcers may indicate Behcet's disease (Swash, 2001).

• Don't forget to take a travel history in any patient with an ulcer.

• Any unusual ulcers should be reviewed by a senior medical colleague or referred to a dermatologist for biopsy.

• In high-risk groups an ulcer is syphilis until proved otherwise.

• Ulcers should be palpated to check for induration (Barkauskas, 2002).

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