Have you noticed red boils or bumps on your skin filled with clear liquid that looks like it could burst anytime? Do you find yourself resisting the urge to burst them? Do you know what they are and what causes them to appear? These are called vesicular skin lesions. If you want to know more about them, you’re in the right place. This is your complete guide to vesicular skin lesions and how to deal with them.
What Is Vesicular Skin?
Vesicular skin lesions are nothing but blisters. They are small sacs filled with either clear or pus-colored fluid. They are typically 5-10mm in diameter. They are delicate and can burst due to pressure or friction. When a vesicle bursts, it becomes a vesicular eruption. Once they burst, the liquid spreads to the surrounding skin and leaves a white or yellow flaky crust when it dries. If the diameter of the lesion is more than ½ cms, it is called bullae.
In the next section, let us understand some of its symptoms.
Symptoms Of Vesicular Skin
Vesicular skin lesions can be easily identified. They develop on the surface of your skin and appear to be swollen and filled with liquid. They can cause redness, itching and can be painful to touch. Over time, they generally disappear by themselves.
While the symptoms of vesicular skin lesions may be easy to detect, the causes are numerous. In the upcoming section, let us look at some of the causes of vesicular skin lesions.
What Are The Causes For Vesicular Skin?
Vesicular skin lesions or blisters can be caused by something as benign as lifting heavy weights at the gym without gloves, breaking into a new pair of shoes, or suffering a burn on your skin. Some of the more serious causes are as follows.
If you’ve got frostbite, bullae (vesicular skin lesions) will begin to appear when the affected area is re-warmed (1).
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
It is common for vesicular skin lesions to appear in acute cases of allergic contact dermatitis. This is an inflammatory skin disease that is caused by the aggravation of contact dermatitis due to allergen or irritants (2).
- Covid -19
Recent studies have suggested that vesicular skin lesions may be one of the side effects of Covid-19 (3). A study analyzed 24 patients who showed symptoms of Covid -19. Out of the 24, 19 of them developed vesicular skin lesions after the onset of Covid-19’s symptoms.
- Bacterial And Fungal Infections
Bacterial and fungal infections can also cause vesicular skin lesions to manifest. Cuts and wounds on your skin not cared for may cause you to come in contact with these bacteria and fungi. Erysipelas, Herpes zoster, and Herpes simplex are some of the most common infections to cause vesicular skin lesions (4).
It is important to seek medical assistance in the above cases of vesicular skin lesions. Let us understand what other situations will require medical assistance.
When To See A Doctor?
It is possible to treat most vesicular skin lesions and blisters with the help of OTC medications. If you start to feel pain, dizziness or are having an allergic reaction to OTC medications, seek medical assistance immediately.
In the next section let us understand how vesicular skin lesions are diagnosed.
How To Diagnose Vesicular Skin?
If you notice strange vesicles that appear on your skin, you should consult with your doctor. You will be asked questions about your recent medical history or any medications that you may be taking. This is to help determine if any pre-existing medical condition is related to your vesicular skin lesions.
The doctor will also examine your skin to diagnose the cause. If your doctor is unsure of the diagnosis, they may ask you to undergo a few tests. The doctor may collect a sample of the fluid and perform a biopsy of the skin tissue of the vesicle. This is sent to a laboratory for analysis that will help arrive at a final diagnosis.
Once your diagnosis is complete, you will know if the vesicular skin lesion is benign or is it an underlying medical condition that is causing these lesions.
In the next section let’s find out how vesicular skin lesions are treated.
Treatment Options Available For Vesicular Skin
Treatment for vesicular skin lesions varies from case to case. It is strongly recommended that you do not pick or scratch open the vesicle. If it becomes too painful and swollen, you can go to a doctor and they will safely drain the fluid. This allows the skin to heal effectively and avoid the risk of developing an infection.
In most cases, over-the-counter medications(OTC) are prescribed by your doctor as part of your treatment. For cases where vesicular skin lesions are caused due to allergic reactions, or poison ivy, antihistamines ointments are prescribed.
In the case of vesicular skin lesions caused by Covid-19, antihistamines, anticoagulants, and corticosteroids are prescribed as part of the treatment (5). Lesions caused by burns will be treated with burns creams and oral antibiotics.
Avoid self-medication and consult a doctor in these cases.
Is there a way to prevent vesicular skin lesions? Let us find out in the next section.
How To Prevent Vesicular Skin?
Vesicular skin lesions are not always preventable. Especially genetic lesions like Epidermolysis bullosa simplex. This is a genetic condition that causes your skin to be fragile and makes it prone to blistering (6). Allergic vesicular lesions also can’t be prevented. You have to take necessary precautions to avoid allergens that trigger this condition. You should also maintain good skin hygiene and use antibacterial soaps to wash your skin to protect it from infections.
To sum up, vesicular skin lesions are blisters that can be caused by many reasons. Some may be as simple as lifting weights in the gym without protective gloves, and some as serious as herpes simplex and herpes zoster. In certain cases like Epidermolysis bullosa simplex, they are caused due to genetics. You may be able to treat them with over-the-counter medications in most cases. However, if over-the-counter medications do not work, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Are vesicles serious?
They are generally harmless but bursting them can be painful.
How do you treat vesicular dermatitis?
It is treated with the help of soothing creams. You could also apply cold packs to the affected area.
Is vesicular rash contagious?
No, it is not contagious.
Is vesicular rash itchy?
Yes, it can be itchy.
What is a vesicular infection?
It is a type of bacterial infection that causes an outbreak of blisters under the skin. This type of infection is seen in cases of athlete’s foot.
What causes vesicular tinea pedis?
It is a chronic fungal infection that occurs on the foot. It is caused by 3 sets of fungal pathogens— Trichophyton sp, Epidermophyton sp, and Microsporum sp (7).
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- Contact Dermatitis
- Clinical and Histological Characterization of Vesicular Covid-19 Rashes: A Prospective Study in a Tertiary Care Hospital
- Infectious Dermatoses That Can Manifest As Vesicles
- \’Identification\’ \’Mechanism\’ and Treatment of Skin Lesions in COVID-19: A Review
- Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex
- Dermatology For the Practicing Allergist: Tinea Pedis and Its Complications
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