Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology
Other dermatoses
Behcet’s disease

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 23 June 2016, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Behcet’s disease [title] skin

Cite this page: Behcet's disease. website. Accessed August 19th, 2018.
Clinical features
  • Chronic condition with canker sores or ulcers in mouth and genitals and inflammation in parts of eye (National Institutes of Health)
  • May also cause arthritis, skin problems, inflammation of digestive tract and CNS
  • Most common along “Old Silk Route” from Japan and China to Mediterranean; rare in U.S.
  • Some skin lesions resemble acne but occur throughout body; also erythema nodosum with ulceration
  • Aphthous ulcers in mouth (lips, tongue, inside cheek) of almost all patients; are numerous, frequent, large and painful
  • May be fatal due to ruptured aneurysms or severe neurological complications
  • Oral aphthus ulcers and at least two of the following (eMedicine, Lancet 1990;335:1078):
    • Genital aphthae
    • Synovitis
    • Posterior uveitis
    • Cutaneous pustular vasculitis
    • Meningoencephalitis
    • Recurrent genital ulcers
    • Uveitis in the absence of inflammatory bowel disease or collagen-vascular disease
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Erythematous papules and pustules resembling acne

Calf and abdomen

Erythematous plantar maculae

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Leukocytoclastic vasculitis and panniculitis
  • Also superficial and deep perivascular infiltrates of lymphocytes and neutrophils
  • Some vessels contain thrombi
  • Also suppurative folliculitis, intraepidermal or subepidermal vesicles
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Disrupted folliculosebaceous unit surrounded by neutrophils

Endothelial cell swelling and perivascular inflammatory cell infiltrate

Differential diagnosis
  • Localized chronic fibrosing vasculitis: different clinical findings