What are the Most Common Causes of a Rash with Blisters?

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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2016
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A rash with blisters can indicate many different types of skin conditions, including poison ivy, chickenpox and eczema. These types of rashes may also be the result of an Id reaction. Each condition is caused by different things and is treated differently. Some conditions, such as chickenpox and poison ivy, are contagious, meaning they can be spread to other people.

Poison ivy occurs when a person comes in contact with urushiol, a resin that exists in certain types of plants. Within two days of touching some part of the plant, a person will experience a rash with blisters. The rash and the blisters will often occur on the arms, legs or face. Sometimes it will spread to the inside of the mouth or nose. The amount and intensity of the rash with blisters will vary, depending on how much urushiol the person was exposed to and how sensitive his skin is.

Chickenpox is a common skin condition that occurs during childhood. This type of rash with blisters is the result of varicella zoster, which is a virus. The blisters normally start on the chest or the face of a person and continue to spread over the body. Blisters will form on top of the rash and, after a day or two, crust over, making them no longer contagious. It is sometimes accompanied by cold-like symptoms, a fever or a stomach ache.


Eczema is also known as dermatitis. It normally occurs because of an allergic reaction, an irritation or dry skin. There also may be other, unidentified causes for the development of eczema. Symptoms usually include a red rash that itches and has open sores and blisters.

An Id reaction happens when a person is allergic to and comes in contact with a certain kind of fungus. It appears as a rash with blisters and is very itchy. Normally, this occurs on the hands, chest, arms or feet. Many times, a person does not know that he has a fungal infection until an Id reaction is present.

Treatment for poison ivy can include calamine lotion, antihistamines and oatmeal baths. Chickenpox can also be treated with calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. This will help to eliminate itching. Care for eczema may vary, depending on the cause of the dermatitis, but cool oatmeal baths may also help reduce eczema-related itching. An Id reaction requires treatment of the fungal infection before the skin will clear up.


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Post 3

Do we have any moms here? Do you have any advice or remedies for a three month old with severe diaper rash and blisters?

Post 2

@ZipLine-- I'm not a doctor, so please see your doctor or talk to a pharmacist. I'm just sharing my opinion.

There is something called a heat/sweat allergy. It happens when the skin reacts to excessive sweating (and possibly to the natural yeast found in sweat) and breaks out in a rash. I'm not sure if this condition causes blisters, but it definitely causes a rash in the groin and underarms because these are where the sweat glands are found.

You should shower frequently with warm/cool water and keep yourself sweat-free and cool. You can use a corticosteroid cream for the rash.

If these don't help and if the rash and blisters get worse, see a doctor. You might have a skin infection or this might be an allergic reaction.

Post 1

Can heat cause a rash with blisters? I have a rash on my chest, underneath my armpits and in my groin area. I also have blisters. The only possible cause I can think of is heat because I was working outside under the sun this weekend.

I've heard of sunburn blisters before, but can sunlight cause a rash too?

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