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What is Ulcer?

Let's look at what an ulcer is. An ulcer is a painful sore that takes a long time to heal and can recur. Ulcers are a common occurrence. What caused them and where they occur on your body determine how they appear and the symptoms that accompany them.

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Ulcers can appear anywhere in or on your body, from your stomach lining to your skin's outer layer. Some ulcers heal on their own, but others necessitate medical attention to avoid serious complications.

Types of Ulcer

While the most common types of ulcers are peptic ulcers, there are many types, including the following which are listed below:

  • Arterial ulcers

  • Venous ulcers

  • Mouth ulcers

  • Genital ulcers

Let’s know the different types of ulcers and the cause of ulcers.

Peptic Ulcer

A sore that appears on the oesophagus, stomach, or small intestine lining.

When stomach acid damages the lining of the digestive tract, ulcers are formed. H. pylori bacteria and anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin are two common causes.

A common symptom is upper abdominal pain.

Medication to reduce stomach acid production is usually part of the treatment. Antibiotics may be required if the infection is caused by bacteria. The ulcers on the inside of the stomach are known as gastric ulcers. Duodenal ulcers are ulcers that form on the inside of your small intestine's upper portion (duodenum).

The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium are the most common causes of peptic ulcers (Aleve). Peptic ulcers are generally not caused by stress or spicy junk foods. They can, however, exacerbate your symptoms.

The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is burning stomach pain which is due to stomach acid. Stomach acid, as well as having an empty stomach, aggravates the pain. Eat certain foods that buffer stomach acid or take an acid-reducing medication to relieve the pain, but it may return. It's possible that the pain will be worse between meals and at night. Many people with peptic ulcers have no symptoms at all.

Ulcers Can also Cause Severe Signs and Symptoms, Such as:

  • Vomiting or vomiting blood (which can be red or black in colour)

  • Stools with dark blood, or stools that are black or tarry

  • Breathing problems

  • Feeling dizzy.

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Weight loss that isn't explained

  • Appetite shifts

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you have any of the above-mentioned severe signs or symptoms, you should see a doctor. Consult your doctor if you've tried over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers but the pain persists.

Arterial Ulcers

Arterial (ischemic) ulcers are open sores on the outside of your ankle, feet, toes, and heels. Arterial ulcers are caused by artery damage caused by a lack of blood flow to the tissue. These ulcers can take months to heal and must be treated properly to avoid infection and other complications.

Arterial ulcers have a punched-out appearance and a variety of symptoms, such as red, yellow, or black sores.

Skin that is hairless, leg ache, there is no bleeding because of the lack of blood circulation, the affected area is cool to the touch.

Treatment for arterial ulcers depends on the underlying cause. Primary treatment includes restoring blood circulation to the affected area. While antibiotics may help reduce symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to increase blood flow to your tissues and organs. In more severe circumstances, your doctor can also recommend amputation.

Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers, the most common type of leg ulcer, are open wounds that develop on the leg, below the knee, and on the inside of the ankle. Damage to your veins caused by insufficient blood flow back to your heart is the most common cause.

Unless they're infected, venous ulcers can cause little to no pain. In some cases, this condition can be excruciatingly painful.

Other Symptoms You May Experience during Venous Ulcers Include:

  • Inflammation

  • Swelling

  • Itchy skin

  • Scabbing

  • Discharge

It can take months for a venous ulcer to heal completely. They may never heal in some cases. The goal of treatment is to improve blood flow to the affected area. Antibiotics can help prevent infection and alleviate symptoms, but they won't cure venous ulcers.

To improve blood flow, your doctor may recommend surgery or compression therapy in addition to medication.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are small sores or lesions that appear in the mouth or at the gum line. Canker sores are the most common name for them.

A variety of factors can cause these ulcers, including biting the inside of your cheek.

  • Allergies to Certain Foods

  • Brushing With a Hard Bristle

  • Hormonal Shifts

  • A Lack of Vitamins

  • An Infection Caused by Bacteria

Ulcers in the mouth are common and usually heal within two weeks. They may be uncomfortable, but generally, they should not be painful. Seek medical help right away if a mouth ulcer is extremely painful or does not heal within two weeks.

Minor mouth ulcers are small, round ulcers that do not leave a scar. They can become larger and deeper wounds in more severe cases. Other serious signs and symptoms of this type of ulcer include:

  1. Healing is Unusually Slow (lasting Longer Than Three Weeks)

  2. Ulcers That Go All the Way to Your Lips

  3. Eating or Drinking Problems

  4. Febrile Illness

  5. A Stomach Ache

Mouth ulcers frequently heal on their own without the need for treatment. Your doctor or dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash or ointment if they become painful. If you think you have a more serious infection, see a doctor right away so you can get the best treatment.

Genital Ulcers

Genital ulcers are sores that develop on the penis, vagina, anus or surrounding areas of the genital area. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the most common cause, but genital ulcers can also be caused by trauma, inflammatory diseases, or allergic reactions to skin care products.

Symptoms of genital ulcers can include a rash or bumps in the affected area, in addition to sores.

  1. Itching or pain

  2. Glands are swollen in the groyne area

  3. Febrile illness

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FAQs on Ulcer

Q1. What is Ulcer Treatment?

Answer. Inhibitors of the proton pump (PPIs) PPIs work by lowering the amount of acid produced by your stomach, preventing further ulcer damage as it heals naturally. They're usually prescribed for a period of four to eight weeks. The most common PPIs used to treat stomach ulcers are omeprazole, pantoprazole, and lansoprazole.

Q2. Can an Ulcer be Completely Cured? 

Answer. The answer is yes if you have peptic ulcer disease, which can cause stomach ulcers and/or duodenal ulcers in the small intestine. These ulcers are completely reversible.

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