Read below about blister, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your blister from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Blister

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced blister. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Friction Blister on the Hand

    Friction blisters are very common and occur when fluid accumulates beneath the outer layer of the skin. They’re caused by friction from carrying heavy objects or repetitive use.

    Friction blisters heal within 1-2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand pain, blister on the hand, blister caused by friction, constant skin changes, rash with bumps or blisters
    Symptoms that always occur with friction blister on the hand:
    blister caused by friction, blister on the hand
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus - the same virus that causes chickenpox. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on the face, it may affect vision or hearing.

    An episode usually lasts 2-4 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    symptoms of infection, dizziness, fatigue, rash, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with shingles (herpes zoster):
    grouped rash, rash
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Skin Infection (Cellulitis)

    Cellulitis is a common and possibly dangerous skin infection if left untreated. It is typically caused by bacteria living on the skin getting into the skin itself.

    5 days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, painful rash, red rash, feeling confused and not making sense while talking, abnormally high heartrate
    Symptoms that always occur with skin infection (cellulitis):
    red rash, painful rash
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Blistering Disease (Pemphigus)

    Pemphigus is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system attacks healthy cells in the skin and mouth, causing blisters and sores. This is a rare disease, and doctors are not completely sure of the cause.

    Disease resolves in 3/4 of treated people within 10 years.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nasal ulcer, skin peeling, hoarse voice, painful rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Friction Blister on the Foot

    Friction blisters are very common among both men and women of all ages. They most commonly affect the feet due to lifting heavy loads, repetitive overuse, or ill-fitting shoes. The layers of skin become separated from mechanical force, and the body fills the gap with fluid.

    Friction blisters should begin to heal within 1-2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    foot pain, foot blister, blister likely from friction, constant skin changes, foot skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with friction blister on the foot:
    foot blister, blister likely from friction
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  6. 6.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    1-2 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    rash with well-defined border
    Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Sunburn

    A sunburn is inflammation (a reaction by your body's immune system) caused by too much UV (ultra-violet) radiation, which is part of the sunshine. While the symptoms eventually go away, the cells of the skin are permanently damaged, and over time, the risk of skin cancer is higher. Further, the damage reduces the skin's ability to repair itself, speeding up the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

    It typically resolves within 3-5 days for mild sunburns, and 7-14 days for blistering episodes

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful rash, red rash, itchy rash, warm and red rash, swollen rash
    Symptoms that always occur with sunburn:
    painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that never occur with sunburn:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Partial Thickness Burn

    A burn is called partial-thickness when there is damage to some of the lower layers of skin. This can cause blistering and pain, but is not generally dangerous if treated properly.

    A partial thickness burn is very likely to scar, but symptoms should resolve within 2-3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    burn, blistering burn, blanching burn, burn that is painful to touch
    Symptoms that always occur with partial thickness burn:
    burn, blistering burn, burn that is painful to touch, blanching burn
    Symptoms that never occur with partial thickness burn:
    open wound from burn
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Allergic Reaction to Poison Ivy / Oak / Sumac

    Plants of the Toxicodendron genus are found throughout the continental United States, and exposure to these plants is a leading cause of contact dermititis, a medical term used to describe irritation and itching of the skin.

    With treatment, symptoms should resolve from a few days to two weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash, itchy rash, red rash, skin changes on arm, stinging or burning rash
    Symptoms that always occur with allergic reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac:
    itchy rash, rash
    Symptoms that never occur with allergic reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Chemical Burn

    Many types of chemicals can cause damage to the skin, including strong acids and bases such as drain cleaner.

    Depending on the severity of the burn, it can take up to a few weeks to heal

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Symptoms that never occur with chemical burn:
    open wound from burn
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

FAQs About Blister

Here are some frequently asked questions about blister.

Do blisters go away on their own?

The most common type of blister is an abrasion blister, usually brought about by some sort of strenuous rubbing of skin against an object. They can be caused by running in shoes that don't fit, doing a repetitive task like yard work for the first time without gloves, or even working out without proper hand protection. Blisters that come about in this way usually disappear and become less tender naturally with time. Blisters may also arise because of a rash or exposure. Burns from the sun or direct exposure to fire or steam often blister, rashes from exposure to toxins like poison ivy may blister, and chemical burns may also blister. If you have a rash from an unknown source that is blistering you should seek medical attention.

What do you do if you accidentally pop a blister?

There is not much to do aside from keeping the site of the popped blister clean and protected. You may notice a red and tender area under the skin of the blister. For your own comfort and to prevent infection, it can help to place a dry bandage over the popped blister and to change it 1–2 times per day, keeping it dry before changing it. But, in most cases, it will resolve on its own.

Can diabetes cause blisters on my body?

Yes, diabetes can cause blisters. This is called bullous disease of diabetes. The blisters caused by diabetes are under the skin and do not have a clear cause. They are often red and swollen and most commonly appear on the feet or legs. They commonly and spontaneously resolve over the course of a few weeks.

Can blisters spread to other parts of my body?

Yes, depending on the cause, blisters can spread and often do spread. Blisters caused by a sunburn, for example, will develop first in the area most intensely exposed to the sun. If you have received a sufficiently high dose of UV radiation, you may later develop blisters in other areas as well. Autoimmune disorders of the blood vessels or skin, infectious diseases, and exposure to certain plants and chemicals can all cause blisters to spread from one area of the body to another. Health professionals are trained to look at the distribution of a rash with blisters to determine its cause. If you have a spreading rash with blisters you should see a health professional for diagnosis.

Can blisters get infected?

Yes, blisters can get infected. The chance of infection is higher for larger blisters, but is present for any size of blister. Keys to ensuring that the blister does not get infected, is keeping any substance (e.g. dirt, oil, water, antibacterial gel) from getting caught under the dead skin overlying the blister. This can be done either by carefully removing the skin or by keeping the blister dry and covered during times when it might be exposed to some infectious material.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Blister

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.What color is the skin change?
  • Q.Is your rash raised or rough when you run your hand over the area of skin?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our blister symptom checker to find out more.

Blister Quiz

Blister Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced blister have also experienced:

    • 3% Armpit Lump
    • 3% Itchy Rash
    • 3% Scalp Bump
  • People who have experienced blister had symptoms persist for:

    • 29% Over a Month
    • 27% Less Than a Week
    • 25% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced blister were most often matched with:

    • 44% Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
    • 44% Skin Infection (Cellulitis)
    • 11% Friction Blister on the Hand
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

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