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Are ulcers contagious?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Ulcers are not contagious. However, peptic ulcers are often caused by a bacterial infection that can be spread, though doctors don't know for sure how it happens. They think it might be transmittable between people in close contact or possibly through contaminated water. It is important to remember that this infection is not the only cause of ulcers and that most of the time an H. pylori infection does not result in an ulcer. Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) may be caused by a viral infection among other things, but they are not considered contagious. (Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, which are contagious—but are not ulcers.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.