What Are the Most Common Causes of Itchy Blisters?

Contact with poison ivy may cause itchy blisters.
A man with itchy blisters on his hand.
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  • Written By: J.L. Drede
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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There are many different reasons why a person might suffer from itchy blisters. Some are relatively minor skin conditions, such as a mild allergic reaction, dry skin, or a bug bite. In other cases, itchy blisters can be the sign of a serious medical condition such as shingles, cellulitis, or even a sexually transmitted disease.

Blisters can vary in appearance, and some may be accompanied by a rash or other skin conditions. Itchy blisters with a rash are often a symptom of an allergic reaction called dermatitis. Many different things can cause dermatitis, from poison ivy to common household chemicals such as detergents and cleaning solutions.

If the itchy blisters are accompanied by a rash and a fever or other flu-like symptoms, then they can be a sign of shingles, measles, or chickenpox. All three of these can become serious medical problems and in extreme cases can even be fatal. The itchy rash and blisters that accompany these conditions are usually painful and irritating. Some may even break and bleed if scratched. In these cases medical attention should be sought immediately.

Some types of blisters are signs of conditions related to skin diseases like rosacea and psorasis. Antibiotics can usually treat rosacea, but additional treatment, such as creams and ointments, is usually needed to help alleviate blisters and other systems that are related to psorasis. Both are chronic conditions that need continued treatment in order to be properly controlled.

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Some small itchy blisters may be the sign of an infection. If the areas around the blisters are extremely tender, sensitive, and warm to the touch, then they may be a sign of cellultis, boils, or folluculitis. These need to be cleaned regularly to help reduce the risk of the infection spreading. In some cases, antibiotics and other medication may be prescribed to kill the infection.

Insect bites can also be a cause of blisters that itch. If the redness from the bite doesn't spread and no signs of infection are found, blisters caused from bites are typically harmless. Ointment can be used in these cases to help dull the itchiness.

Blisters that itch may also be the sign of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Both genital warts and herpes are STDs that show themselves as blisters, usually on the genitals or around the mouth. The viruses that cause both these conditions cannot be cured, but medication and other treatments exist to help reduce the severity of blister outbreaks.

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JessicaLynn
Post 4

@sunnySkys - That sounds awful! I'm glad your friend came through it ok though.

I've had itchy blisters on a smaller scale myself, and it was definitely not a nice experience. When I was younger I was a Girl Scout, and of course the camping trips were my favorite.

One trip, I fell in some poison ivy. Yes, fell. The blisters you get from poison ivy aren't as large as the shingles blisters, but they sure do itch! I actually had to cut my camping trip short and go home, and I was so upset!

lonelygod
Post 3

@letshearit - I don't have allergies like you do but I still get red itchy bumps on my skin from time to time. Mine is actually caused by dry skin and it seems that no matter how much lotion I use it always comes back.

The small itchy bumps on my skin usually appear on my legs and arms, and sometimes on my back. I have found that taking warm oatmeal baths really helps to soothe my skin and using aloe lotion really cools my red itchy skin.

One of the things my doctor also recommended was drinking a lot of water. I am not sure if this really helps dry skin, but I will keep trying.

sunnySkys
Post 2

A friend of mine recently went to India for a month long yoga certification class. Part of her training was taking a vow of silence for ten days. Unfortunately, during those ten days, she developed shingles!

She had no idea what was going on, and the doctor there pretty much just told her she would be fine. Somehow she pushed through and finished the training. When she came home, she still had some blisters from shingles! I'm telling you, I knew about shingles, but I had no idea the blisters could get that big! It looked completely awful!

letshearit
Post 1

Itchy bumps on skin are one of the worst things to have because they make it nearly impossible to sleep. I had a severe allergic reaction to a new soap I tried and the itchy skin bumps popped up all over my skin. I ended up at the hospital getting pumped full of antihistamines and getting cream rubbed all over me.

I think that if you have sensitive skin you should never just try a new product without testing it on a small spot of skin first. I know most people think this is way too much of a hassle but skin rashes that itch are horrible.

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