Lesions of the Mucous Membranes

Lesions of the Mucous Membranes

The mucous membranes are tissue linings found throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, and the genital and urinary tract. Mucous membranes produce and secrete mucus, a substance that helps lubricate and protect parts of the body from infection and irritation. When these linings become inflamed or damaged, it can lead to lesions, or sores, on the mucous membranes.


Lesions on the mucous membranes can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, autoimmune disorders, trauma, irritants, and infections. Depending on the cause, lesions can appear differently and vary in size, shape, and color.


The most common types of lesions that can be found on the mucous membranes are:

  • Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, which are shallow sores that range in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.
  • Vesicles, which are small, fluid-filled blisters.
  • Bullae, which are large blisters that are filled with clear fluid.
  • Pustules, which are elevated sores that are filled with pus.
  • Erythema, which is an area of redness on the skin.


Symptoms of mucous membrane lesions can vary depending on the cause, type and location of the lesion. Common symptoms include pain, itching, burning, and discomfort. In some cases, lesions can lead to scarring or other permanent damage to the mucous membrane.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Lesions of the mucous membranes can be diagnosed by visual inspection and a physical exam. Additional tests such as a biopsy or culture may be necessary to identify the cause of the lesions. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the lesions, but can include medications, topical creams, or surgical removal.