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Blood blisters in the mouth

For many years I suffered from oral blood blisters (angina bullosa haemorrhagica) - on tongue and cheeks and sometimes on my gums. There seems to be little useful info findable on the www (hence this bit of the blog!) but what you may find is potentially quite frightening. I also suffer on occasion petichiae elsewhere - which may be related - or may be age spots! But for reasons unknown, they do not seem to trouble me now.

Usually the oral blisters were small - but if I did not burst them, they can grow large and even painful. If they burst of their own accord an ulcer can sometimes develop, so I soon learnt that the least troublesome solution was to prick the blister with a clean needle to relieve the pressure, as soon as possible.

Blood blisters - The cure

Fortunately my local pharmacist had met these blisters before and recommended Vitamin B tablets. Vitamin B does, indeed, appear to effect a good and easy cure: if I do not take Vitamin B tablets for a period, the blisters occur again and subside as soon as I start taking the tablets.

I don't like taking pills, so I once tried taking fairly copious amounts of Marmite instead - as Marmite is strong in B vitamins. However I find that Marmite does not do the job! So it seems to me that the deficiency must be of one of the B vitamins present in the pills, but not in Marmite. So it's likely to be a deficiency in either B5 (Pantothenic acid) or B6 (Pyridoxine). However, it must be only a trace deficiency as I do not need to take more than one tablet every few days. If anyone has more expert knowledge, please use the contact button.

Out of interest, the table below shows the declared contents of Vitamin B tablets compared with Marmite.

No Name Marmite Tablets
per 4g each
B1 Thiamine 230µg 1.4mg
B2 Riboflavin 280µg 1.6mg
B3 Niacin 6.4mg 18mg
B5 Pantothenic acid  see note
B6 Pyridoxine   2mg
B7 Biotin    
B9 Folic acid 100µg 200µg
B12 Cobalamin 0.6µg 1µg

Note: B5 and B12 are only present in some brands of mixed B vitamins.

B5 and B6

The logic above indicates that the cure is either B5 (Pantothenic acid) or B6 (Pyridoxine). So what are the indications?

B5. (Pantothenic acid)
Wikipedia and other sources say this is very common.

Note added Thursday the 28th of October, 2010.

Vitamin B5 is said to be high in peanuts - something of a superfood. Now I have been eating peanuts by the handful for about two years. Several days ago I decided to experiment by not taking vitamin B tablets. Today, a blood blister beneath my tongue! So, by a process of elimination, the magic cure is B6. This is reinforced by the absence of B5 in some tablets that still effect a cure.

B6 (Pyridoxine)

Wikipedia is not so common. It is also linked to blood chemistry! I think there is room here for further investigation... Wikipedia also says that lack may cause mouth sores!

The World's Healthiest Foods www site says that Excellent sources of vitamin B6 include bell peppers, turnip greens, and spinach. There is a chart there showing more B6 rich foods: Tuna, banana, chicken, turkey, liver, salmon and more on the deficiency symptoms page: if that's correct, I should already be getting plenty!

Vitamin B6 and liver function

By way of an afterword: ABH (angina bullosa haemorrhagica) is caused (at least in myself) by a dysfunction of the liver's ability to metabolise vitamin B6 properly. The full story is on another page on Angina bullosa hemorrhagica, Vitamin B6 and liver function. I find a B6 or B complex tablet every 10 days or so to be adequate

In summary, I may have cured my own ABH (angina bullosa haemorrhagica) by a short course of Silybum marianum (milk thistle) which is readily available from health food shops and even some supermarkets.

Note added Sunday the 3rd of March, 2019.

The paragraph above was written early 2011 - now 8 years ago. Since taking the Milk Thistle I have forgotten about the blood blisters and have not seemed to need extra B vitamins (I was taking them as the ABH required). It seems very possible that the Silybum marianum fixed the liver problem that was causing this. I can trace no other likely cause.

B12 (Cobalamine)

Note added Thursday the 6th of December, 2012. One correspondent has contacted me by email to say (I quote):
My husband suffers from this - he's Vegan and it is more prevalent in those who don't eat meat. The deficiency is a Vitamin B12 deficiency. You can fix it by either taking a supplement or eating a breakfast cereal fortified with B12. Folate supplementation is also helpful. It's no wonder Marmite didn't help: you need a daily dose of Vitamin B12 or around 150 mcg for an adult, and I don't think Marmite has it in those quantities.

Wikipedia on B12 says that neither fungi, plants not animals can synthesise B12 directly: it's produced by bacterial symbiosis: animals need the right bacteria!


If you find this page useful, please let me know - I'm curious to know if Vitamin B works for others as it does for me.

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First published Tuesday the 25th of August, 2009
Last modified: Mon, 08 Jul 2024 08:53:52 BST
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