Blisters on Hands

Blisters on Hands

blisters on hands
blisters on hands

The appearance of blisters on hands can have various causes, including different medical conditions. The blisters are filled with a clear liquid (serum) and they can easily break, making the patient feel uncomfortable. In some cases, the blisters have no identifiable cause and they heal without any treatment. However, when the blisters represent symptoms of underlying medical conditions, specific medical treatment is required. In case you cannot identify a clear cause that has led to the appearance of blisters on your hands, you should consult a doctor immediately.

In many situations, such as is the case of dyshidrotic eczema, the blisters on the hands are accompanied by blisters in other parts of the body, such as the feet, causing intense itchiness. Sometimes, the appearance of blisters on the hands is a sign of infection in the body or an allergic reaction of the immune system. The blisters can appear in acute, chronic or recurrent episodes; often times, the recurrence of the blisters is a sign that the underlying condition was not properly treated or that the infection is still present in the body. Also, it is important to determine whether the blisters are contagious or not. In many cases, they are not contagious but the patient is susceptible to infection because of the compromised tegument.

Causes of Blisters on Hands

These are the most common causes that lead to the appearance of blisters on hands:

Contact dermatitis

Skin reaction to chemicals (this appears in patients who have a genetic predisposition and also an over-active immune system).

Chemical or thermal burns

The hand blisters resulting from burns are extremely painful and it is highly important not to break them, as this makes the affected area susceptible to infection and also leaves the patient dehydrated.


  • Prolonged exposure to the sun, without adequate protection
  • Patients with fair skin present a higher risk of developing blisters after prolonged exposure to the sun. This is why it is recommended to use high SPF sunblock, including on the hands.


  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections (staph bacteria are common)


  • Intense and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures
  • Immediate return to normal temperature should be avoided, as this can aggravate the condition and cause even more severe blisters to appear

Dyshidrotic eczema (Pompholyx)

  • Blisters develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • Itchiness is present in the affected areas

Allergic eczema

  • Allergies to chemicals or poisonous substances
  • Poison oak and ivy

Physical irritation of the skin

  • Friction or rubbing of the skin (including from tight gloves)
  • Harmful irritation from different chemicals (cleaning products, cosmetics, skin care products)
  • Extreme temperatures (extreme cold or heat)

Other skin conditions

  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Pemphigoid
  • Pemphigus

Blistering skin conditions (inherited)

  • Epidermolysis bullosa (blisters appear after trauma)
  • Porphyria (blisters appear exposure to the sun)


  • Nalidixic acid
  • Furosemide
  • Doxycycline
  • Severe cases: Erythema multiforme , Toxic epidermal necrolysis.

Blisters on Hands Treatment

These are the most common courses of treatment undertaken for blisters on hands:

  • Avoid touching or breaking the blister, as this can cause the said area to become infected
  • Apply a bandage to the blister and leave it to disappear on its own
  • If a blister happens to break on its own, then you need to wash the area with anti-bacterial soap and warm water. Then, be sure to apply a bandage and avoid touching the area.
  • Topical corticosteroids are recommended for blisters on hands caused by eczema and dermatitis.
  • Oral corticosteroids are recommended for more severe cases of dermatitis.
  • Antibiotics are recommended for bacterial infections.
  • Antiviral medication is administered in cases of viral infections.
  • Anti-itchiness lotion is recommended for blisters accompanied by itchiness, such as is the case of dyshidrotic eczema. Lotions with calamine are mostly recommended.
  • Discontinuation of medication that causes severe cases of hand blistering and administration of corticosteroids.
  • Immunosuppressive agents are recommended for the treatment of blistering skin conditions.
  • Changes in diet are recommended in cases of dermatitis herpetiformis (because of the association with a diet that rich in gluten).
  • For porphyria:
    • Phlebotomy (regular blood drawn)
    • Administration of certain medication: cholestyramine, chloroquine, beta-carotene
  • For dyshidrotic eczema:
    • Petroleum jelly
    • Mineral oil
    • Topical and oral corticosteroids
    • Ultraviolet light therapy
    • Immune-suppressing creams (in rare cases)


These are the most common remedies recommended for blisters on hands:

  • Avoid using alcohol or iodine-based solutions in order to clean the area where a blister has broken
  • If a blister has broken and the liquid has come out of it, be sure to leave the flap of the blister alone
  • Antibiotic cream or ointment should be applied to the area where the blister has broken, in order to eliminate any chance for infection
  • Change the bandage applied to the blister as often as it is possible
  • Avoid getting the blister area wet or dirty
  • Remove the bandage during the night, so that the area heals better
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities involving the use of your hands
  • Use cold compresses to keep the blistered area wet and cold
  • Use protective gloves if you need to get your hands into water (washing dishes or laundry)
  • After the flap of the blister dries, you can use tweezers and scissors in order to remove the dead skin. Be sure to constantly disinfect the area, in order to prevent secondary infections
  • Apply calendula ointment (made from marigold) – this ointment is normally recommended for wound healing but it does wonders on blisters as well
  • Apply aloe vera gel to the area and cover it with a bandage. Be sure to refrain from products that contain alcohol as well, as these are not recommended for blisters on hands. It is better to stick with natural aloe vera gels
  • Tea tree oil is recommended in blisters that have broken, because of its antibacterial properties
  • Vitamin E is recommended as well for the blistered area. You can mix it with the calendula ointment for better results

Blisters on Hands Pictures

Here are some of the pictures collection of blisters on hands…

blisters on hands

blisters on hands pictures

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