What Causes Water Blisters?

A blister caused by the herpes virus.
A water blister caused by friction.
A man with water blisters on his hand.
Water blisters caused by burns can be treated with topical antibiotics.
A girl with a water blisters from chicken pox.
Some water blisters may be due to an allergy to household cleaning products.
Chicken pox have small blisters that burst after a day or two.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2014
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The most frequent cause of water blisters is repeated friction. Water blisters most commonly occur on the heel or the foot when someone is breaking in new shoes. When the blisters burst, they can be painful, and those with diabetes need to be particularly careful to bandage blisters to prevent infections. Friction is, however, not the only cause of these blisters. Several other conditions can cause them to form.

Burns are probably the second most frequent cause of water blisters. Second and third degree burns may quickly blister. Since burns of this type can cause damage to the skin, they usually require treatment with topical antibiotics to prevent infection. Large burns necessitate a trip to the doctor to help eliminate pain and to reduce risk of infection.

Some viruses can cause blisters. Chicken pox and shingles, for example, begin with the formation of small blisters that burst after a day or so, and then begin to crust over and scab. Scabs should be watched for any signs of pus as these may indicate infection.

Allergies to substances resulting in contact dermatitis may also cause blisters. Some people have significant allergies to detergents or cleaning chemicals that can at first show up as blisters. Blisters and/or rash may be present and should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out a viral cause. Poison oak and ivy can also cause blistering before a rash develops.

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Prickly heat, resulting from exposure to high heat in humid areas may also create water blisters. Blisters usually tend to resolve overnight, leaving behind a raised and irritated rash. As well, direct exposure to the sun, and extremely bad sunburns may blister the skin like contact burns. If the skin forms blisters with minimal sun exposure, this may indicate heightened skin sensitivity to the sun.

Some sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts and herpes may also form blisters prior to forming itching rashes. Blisters on the genitals should always be evaluated, since the most likely cause is herpes, which can be quite contagious. Those with herpes need to discuss reduction of risk with any potential sexual partners.

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Discuss this Article

mrvys
Post 63

I have a problem. which is having blisters on my face. The doctors said they don't know what it is. Please help me. Is there such a disease?

anon925403
Post 62

I have water blisters on the heel of my right foot that are itchy. They have spread to my legs and arms.

anon345969
Post 61

I get six or seven water boils at a time on my chest.

anon287950
Post 58

Water blisters around your eye back and or extremities can be shingles. You can get shingles of the face, eye, back, neck, arms or legs. If you have blisters in these areas that are painful, please get them checked by a physician!

anon183828
Post 57

I woke up one day with two small water blisters on my chest right above my nipple to the side! It looks like I got burned! What can it be?

anon176458
Post 56

My wife had two huge blisters on her left paralyzed leg recently. (Stroke victim) The vascular surgeon she saw on Wed. said it was because of poor circulation in her leg. It has been swollen and painful since her stroke two years ago. Why didn't they do something then? I'm not mad. Just disappointed in the system. After they broke, they didn't suggest any treatment or anything. Her leg drips all the way down to her heel now. What do I do?

anon173850
Post 55

I've lived all over Europe and US and started getting these water blisters on my fingers as soon as I moved to Bolingbrook, IL. After lots of testing we found what was causing it, the water! No joke, if I put water from my house on my hands I get blisters within 12 hours. If I wear rubber gloves when washing and use alcohol based hand wash instead of touching the water, I'm fine. Condition seems to get worse with more exposure.

It only takes a little of the water from the house to trigger a really bad reaction. Still don't know what is different in the water here from everywhere else in Illinois / US that I've lived.

anon167952
Post 54

tiny blisters on your hands is probably eczema. i had it as a little girl, and didn't have a breakout for years. All of a sudden it came about. I go through different stages. Sometimes I have the tiny fluid filled bumps, (by the way it's best not to pop these) which itch like crazy!

If you use mild soaps (dove for sensitive skin) and unscented lotions, Eucerin works well for me, always use cold water to wash your hands since warmth irritates even more. Another stage is deep cracking on my hand and it is very painful. For this, I use neosporin with a band aid and let it heal.

My doctor has prescribed a steroid cream in which I feel doesn't help. I did some research that the food choices you make have a big impact on your outbreaks as well as seasons, and even stress. Hope this helps!

anon165474
Post 53

I have had this condition of water blisters breaking out on both of my hands over the last 25 years and they itch like hell and can be very painful.

I have used all of these creams: Dermovate, Betnovate, Garamycin (newest one now) and Aureomicin (Chlortetracycine)prior to that one. I find the latest one I am using really helps with the iching and it does help heal the scabbed wound when the blister breaks open.

However, if you are unsure what is causing the problem, seek advice from a doctor before using any treatments, as they may not be suited to you and may not be what your condition needs to heal.

anon156786
Post 52

@anon 23826: that is probably eczema. i have it when the seasons change and when I have been writing a lot, it can be caused by sweaty palms, and i found that i got it when i had been washing up, using gloves as my hands could not breathe properly. i would suggest using an easy hand cream like nivea and hydrocortisone.

remyakr
Post 51

Some water blisters on my hand were broken. Now it makes scars on my thumb, middle and ring fingers. Is it cured? Sometimes the scars become wet. Is this because of any food I ate? These blisters are on my left hand. As I'm not a left handed person, is it because of foods? Please help me.

anon150183
Post 50

I have had water blisters (tiny blisters with water content) on my hand fingers and left leg thumb for five years. I'm 21 years old and I took ayurvedic and allopathic treatments and now in homeopathic treatment.

There will be no blisters up to nine months to one year after i take medicines. I think the cause is not any particular food items or soaps I use. Doctors said it's because of lot of tension, but I'm not a tense person. I had it six years before when I was in 10th standard, because of use of detergent and dust. But now I'm allergic to dust, detergent, glycerin and even an antiseptic lotion like Dettol. Please help me.

anon137796
Post 48

I was in the hospital last summer, woke up the next morning with one blister on the inside of each thigh.

Huh?

anon128208
Post 47

i have a water blister on my lip an it itches a lot. how can i get rid of it?

anon128109
Post 46

Small little water blisters on your fingers and then dry skin could be dehydrosis eczema. I had it really bad over the summer and finally am using a steroid cream from my doctor to help treat it. It will never go away completely but helps with the itching and appearance.

anon124521
Post 45

I once had blisters on my hands, a 180 to be precise and they came and went over a period of several months. It was extremely itchy and later on I developed itchiness over my whole body. Warm baths were the only relief for the itch. The problem was eczema which I got from working with cleaning chemicals.

anon123424
Post 44

I have a lot of small water balls on both of the palms of my hands and they won't go away. I popped some of them and put hot water on it and it comes back. Could this be a water blister?

anon122128
Post 43

A ring of blisters developed around the area where I applied iodine to a cut. I think it is caused by iodine burn. The affected area is sore to the touch. What is the best way to dry up these blisters? They cause me more pain than the cut.

anon110921
Post 42

what causes water blisters? i have a bunch of little ones on my left pinky. they itch like crazy. I've never had them before until i moved to maryland. i can't think of anything that I'm allergic to causing it because I'm not in contact with anything that I'm allergic to. i only get them on my left pinky -- nowhere else on my body. any ideas? would also be very helpful to know how to get rid of them. Ty

anon103027
Post 41

i have a water blister on the back of my knee the size of a golf ball. i popped it and it won't stop running.

anon100794
Post 40

I got a water blister on the interior of my knee. I sleep with my knees together. I received heat pack treatments for pain in the same knee. The treatment didn't cause a burn. Could the heat pack draw water to cause a water blister. I had seven treatments over a 10 day period with not problems. But on the eighth, a blister appeared right after the treatment. How is this possible?

anon99279
Post 39

I get very tiny water blisters on my fingers if I wear a ring that is not the right kind of metal because I am allergic to certain kinds (not sure of all of them, but copper is one of them). I have to wear rings that are at least 14kt gold or sterling silver.

I have the same problem with my earrings, which have to be at least 18kt gold, sterling silver or surgical steel, but I don't get blisters from earrings, or bracelets or anything else, only rings. For everything else my skin just turns red and itches really badly where the metal contacts my skin (even a metal belt buckle that touches my stomach), and my ears will leak fluid out of the piercing hole once the earrings are taken out as well.

anon97321
Post 38

i just had a water blister on my leg. It burns like crazy!

anon95248
Post 37

I had water blisters on my feet when I was a little girl and spent a lot of time in the sun and heat. I am now 48 and three months ago developed them on both hands.

I have tried two different creams from the doctor and no help, but I have picked at them and let all the water out and am diabetic. I was told they could be from diabetes and stress (I have a lot of stress). Never had any on my feet for over 40 years but do stay out of the sun. I hate the heat.

The doctor also said my body may not be able to cool itself right so that can cause the water blisters!

anon89088
Post 36

Don't be afraid if you have water warts. If you get burned bad the water from your body will go to your skin to moisten and save the skin so it's not necessarily a bad thing -- it's normal.

i got sunburned really bad and i have thousands of small water warts all over my body, mainly on my back and shoulders and i have a few big ones yet I'm ok.

anon86073
Post 35

Someone earlier mentioned they were 100 percent positive they don't have genital herpes because they are a virgin. Unfortunately HSV1 and HSV2 can both be transmitted via sexual contact or via oral contact. Think for a few minutes and you can see how HSV2, traditionally genital herpes, can make its way to the oral cavity and be transmitted from a kiss. 'Fever blisters" are herpes too.

anon78563
Post 34

Okay, so I woke up this morning with two blisters on my lower back. One is a little bigger than a quarter and filled up with water, the other one is about the size of a nickel. I went to bed last night, blister free. After reading these comments, the only thing that I can think happened is the bedbugs in my sheets and mattress. But does that cause large blisters?

anon76811
Post 33

occasionally when stressed I get a water blister on my arm. it disappears after about an hour. This is weird and has happened three times this year. Cause?

anon76522
Post 32

I get water blisters all over my body and it's because i have lupus and my skin shows it with the water blisters.

anon76085
Post 31

I have had really small water blisters on the inside of my palms, and then dry skin? it's weird. it's been there for over a year. they're almost so small you can't see them, but i can feel them.

anon75851
Post 30

i get them all the time on my fingers because i am a musician and i tend to get them playing an upright bass since the strings are thicker and harder to play. it's from applying pressure to the weak muscle that it is not used to.

i know this is the cause because it only occurs on the fingers i pluck the strings with. it's not a herpes related thing. and you don't need to go to the hospital.

just like any other blisters (like red blisters caused by friction irritation) they will heal and go away. best not to pop them because it will leave a mark. if it is really causing pain try running under cool water for a while.

anon73663
Post 29

what would cause blisters on the feet of a diabetic? any idea?

anon57378
Post 28

My granddaughter has had blisters on one thigh and on the back of her hand. What could cause this? She is 23.

anon55018
Post 27

i just got a water blister on my face after a facial. they used high frequency for my acne, and I don't know if that is what caused it, but it's there.

anon54841
Post 26

i have a water blister on my thumb. it was caused because i was making noodles and the hot water spilled on my finger. it burned really bad and like a week later i got a water blister.

you can also get them from playing on the monkey bars. i used to get them all the time and we would pop them with a needle. it's no big deal! you will live.

anon46045
Post 25

I am prone to fever blisters on my top lip during my menstrual cycle and in times of extreme heat or stress. However, I have a water blister on my bottom lip this cycle. I've never had a water blister before. I would like to believe that it is a result of being on my cycle and a combination of it being extremely warm in my apartment. How do I treat this blister? It doesn't itch. Should I put neosporin on it or should I put alcohol on it to dry it up?

anon44294
Post 24

I got one this morning from trying to zip up my dress. it was really hard to zip and i couldn't zip it up. my fingers started to hurt. :(

anon44032
Post 23

My son apparently got hit in the hand by a bat at the playground and has formed a large water blister on his hand. Is this possible? I'm not sure if our nanny is telling the truth.

anon42815
Post 22

I have 3 water blisters -- one on my hand and two or three on my leg. Can someone please tell me the cause. I think they may have risen when i had contact with the grass while playing badminton.

anon38323
Post 21

check your sheets and matresses because bedbugs cause those blisters too.

anon37637
Post 20

I have 3 blisters which just popped up on the inside of my arm between my wrist & my elbow. It is red around the blisters. This does not itch. Can you tell me what this might be?

anon35939
Post 19

Anon17220 I have almost the exact same problem as you! I get these small water filled blisters on my middle fingers-only the 2 middle ones-and they itch like crazy. My doctor said it was an allergy and gave me a steroid cream. It dried up the blisters and make my skin red and peely. But, at least the itching stopped. Before the dry skin even cleared up more blisters appeared. The cream dries them up but they just keep popping up. So, like you I am still looking for answers. And I am almost 100% positive it is not from genital herpes because I am a virgin!

anon35556
Post 18

i have a few water blisters around my feet and my elbow i don't have a clue how i got them i have tried popping them but the keep refilling is there any quick way to get rid of them as i can't wear shoes ?

anon34302
Post 17

My cat scratched my leg, and it leaked water. Now I have 2 bubbles that fill up with water on my leg and they squeeze out the water, but they keep filling up. Any advice or ideas why I am leaking water?

abby114
Post 16

i went to sleep last night and woke up today with 2 water blisters on the inside of my elbow.. i can't figure out what caused them.. i've been looking for answers all day and i can't find anything.. any ideas?

kp1981
Post 15

Ugh! I have water blister's also. I have it on my left and right hand. My left hand it's between my pinky and ring finger and on my ring finger knuckle. My right hand I have it on my ring finger and it's spreading to my pinky also. I woke up this morning and now I have it (what looks like it) on my mouth and my arms and back!

I tried using hydrocortisone creame and baby aveeno lotion but it doesn't seem to be helping. The hydrocortisone creame seems to keep the itchy away for a little bit but it seems like using that or the aveeno is making it worst!

This is so irritating!

anbar
Post 14

anon23826: the rash on your hands sounds just like when i have a flare up of eczema. keep your skin well hydrated, and try some hydrocortisone cream.

anon23826
Post 13

i've had water blisters on my hands for about a year now, i've had them come up before over the course of about 5 years but they would go away with a few weeks, more recently tho they have come up and stayed. i've been to the doctor twice about them and i was given betnovate ointment, the first time it worked, and it seemed to work this time but then it flared up again even tho i kept on using the ointment. It's always been worse on my right hand, but i get it at the tips of my fingers on my left as well, after i get the blisters they dry up and my skin peals, gets red, itchy and painful, then more blisters appear! i don't know what courses it so i can prevent it happening and nothing i've tried works. All i want is for my hands to look normal again, and i'm really afraid that i do find a way to get rid of the blisters my hands will be scared!

Can anyone help?

anon17684
Post 12

I have a huge water blister on my side. How does this happen? It would not bother me however its in perfect uniform w/a scar from a mole removal I had about 3 years ago. It is about as long as a nickel and as wide as a dime. I had a doc tell me it was a water blister and popped it, however, it still worries me because he had no real clue how this might have happened. My side of all places. I work at a office desk, lazy at home and hardly any sun! Any info?

anon17589
Post 11

Persistent and repeated water blisters on the fingers, especially the index finger, with no obvious source of trauma such as a burn, is likely a herpes simplex infection known as herpetic whitlow. While herpetic whitlow can be a stand alone infection, most likely it is the result of autoinoculation from a primary genital herpes infection.

anon17220
Post 10

i have a history of getting small water blisters around the tips of my fingers. this usually happens as a result of food allergies. for me it's pork. it doesn't happen every time i eat pork but sometimes depending on how it's prepared or how old the meat is (sometimes the pork may not be as fresh)

try to monitor when you get the blisters and see if there is a recurring pattern. if you pick on the blisters (which i have a habit of doing), you will see the water seep out and little holes on your finger. i've learned that if you leave them alone, they will dry up and heal

gk1988
Post 9

i have mainly on my index fingers, small blister type things containing clear fluid, they tend to flare every few months for a day or 2 but i have had them continuously for a week and a half now,

does anyone have any idea what this is? and how i can cure it? thanks.

anon7757
Post 8

Someone I know has a water blister on the back of their shin and it is the size of a quarter. He popped it and it shrunk a bit, but it looks like it's going to leave a deep scar. I am worried because he had gotten one (smaller) on his right foot, not near the shoe... A little information on this would be helpful

anon5387
Post 6

All these comments are nuts... Go to the hospital immediately... Have some common sense! The things that are described here are insanely heinous and very troubling. If i came into contact with any of these symptoms i would probably call 911! So please seek medical attention from a professional. Thank you and god bless...

anon5248
Post 5

can you drink the water in a water blister? could you survive in the desert by drinking the water? thanks

anon5193
Post 4

I have water blisters all over my hand around the bottom of my fingers and they peel and hurt. They are red and new ones develop all the time

anon2171
Post 2

I have to puffed up spots about an inch under each eye looks like blisters Only sore to the touch I don't know what these are

anon1970
Post 1

what would cause pinpoint water blisters on a persons fingers?

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