A Dermatologist Answers Your Questions: Bumps and Blisters

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Many of the questions we receive here on MySkinCareConnection   involve asking about the sudden appearance of bumps or blisters on the skin. The bumps can appear anywhere you have skin including the face, hands, scalp, limbs, or even the genital region   Some people describe their bumps as clear blisters and some describe a spreading rash of red itchy welts. Skin reactions are extremely variable. And there can be an astronomical number of potential causes for any type of rash, some are serious and some are not so serious. So for this reason it can be worrisome when you find a change in your skin that you cannot readily explain.

We have asked for the expert advice of Dr. Lawrence Green, a practicing dermatologist, to talk about the sudden appearance of bumps and/or blisters on the skin.

If you want to find out more about Dr. Green please visit his website, Aethetics Skin Care Dermasurgery.

Here are Dr. Green's suggestions for the appearance of bumps or blisters on the skin:

"I would suggest seeing a dermatologist for any bumps or blisters that are either multiple in number, or persist for more than a week or so. There are probably hundreds of different types of bumps and blisters, and most often the only way to figure out what is causing them is an in person visit to your dermatologist. Bumps and blisters can be something as simple as a burn, bug bites or an allergic reaction, but can also represent genetic conditions and different types of infections. Whether the bump is read, itches, has clear fluid, etc does help the dermatologist in making a diagnosis, but that alone is not enough to tell what a bump or blister is from without seeing the dermatologist seeing and evaluating the person."

This is very good advice from Dr. Green as there really is no way that someone can diagnose you over the Internet based on a written description of your symptoms. Your doctor or dermatologist will need to see you in person to give you an accurate diagnosis and also to provide appropriate treatment. If you are concerned about your skin rash a trip to the doctor will give you some peace of mind.

Here are some questions you may want to answer so that you can take this information to your doctor:

  • What do the skin bumps look like? Are they red? Are they puss filled? Are there clear blisters? Is there any bleeding or scabbing?

  • Where is the rash located on your body? Is the size of the bumps or blisters growing? Is the rash spreading to other areas?

  • Do you have multiple bumps or is it just a few?

  • What does the affected skin feel like? Is it itchy? Painful? Tender?

  • Did the rash come on suddenly or was the onset gradual?

  • Are you taking any new medications, using any new cosmetics, soaps, or detergents? Do you have any known food allergies or intolerances?

  • Have you been out in the sun? Have you been exposed to any chemicals? Have you had any exposure to plants or animals? Have you been outdoors especially in the woods? Is there any chance you have been bitten by an insect including bedbugs?

  • Have you been in contact with anyone who has a contagious disease such as chicken pox?

  • Do you have any other symptoms in addition to your rash including fever, chills, or other flu-like symptoms?

  • Are there any known skin allergies or skin conditions which run in your family such as psoriasis or eczema?

In the event that you are delayed in getting to a doctor you may wish to take a photo of the affected skin area so that you can note any changes. You can also try calling your doctor or nurse to see if there are any over counter remedies you can try to relieve pain, itching and inflammation. If you do find that you have blisters on your skin you never want to pop them. Leave them alone until a doctor can look at them so you don't increase the chances for an infection. Likewise, try not to scratch your skin if it itches because this may worsen your condition.

The bottom line is to be safe and not sorry. If you have a skin reaction you cannot explain it is time to see your doctor or dermatologist.

Here is some additional information for you to read about bumps, blisters, and rashes: