It is widely believed that Behcets is an autoinflammatory condition, but very little is completely understood.  It is thought that the immune system attacks blood vessels and tissues.  It can be difficult to diagnose as there is no definitive test for behcets, usually a combination of tests and clinical examination help with a diagnosis.

Image of a lady with a headache

Whare are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms are inflammation of mucus membranes, causing sores or ulceration.  Typically, this is in the mouth and around the genitals.

Other symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • skin problems such as spots/rashes
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • eye problems

Who is affected?

Behcets affects men and woman equally and is very rare in the UK.  It is more common in the far east to the Mediterranean.  It is most typically diagnosed in young adults in their 20s and 30s but can occur at any age although it is extremely rare in children.

photo of someone smoking a cigarette

Why does it happen?

The cause of Behcet’s is not truly understood, but it is believed to have genetic and environmental factors that may trigger the condition.  Those who have a family member with the condition are at slightly increased risk of developing Behcets.  Researchers have not found a specific environmental trigger but feel that if an individual has a genetic disposition, a trigger such as smoking, or an infection may cause the development of behcets.


Treatment depends on the where your symptoms are:

  • ulcers – topical treatments can be very helpful in the management of mouth/genital ulcers.  If these prove ineffective, there are medications such as colchicine and azathioprine which may be prescribed by your specialist.
  • Skin – topical, tablets and injections of steroids can help to control skin symptoms.  As above, colchicine and azathioprine may be considered.  If these fail to control the disease, Infliximab or other targeted therapies may be used.
  • eyes – treatment for eye symptoms needs to be swift and under the care of an ophthalmologist.  Similar to the above, steroids are often used to help reduce inflammation, but if the problem persists, other medications may be required to manage the condition long term
For more information and support on Behcets visit – Behcets UK