Eczema Blisters: How to Help Prevent and Treat Them

Managing the red, inflamed areas of skin that may itch excessively is a skill one acquires while living with eczema. It's possible that you'll also have to deal with eczema blisters, which may be just as painful and embarrassing as regular outbreaks. The National Eczema Association defines eczema as a group of disorders that produce red, itchy skin and other symptoms (NEA). More than 31 million Americans suffer with eczema, according to the organization. Blisters are a sign of irritated or injured skin. They are basically fluid-filled bubbles. He compares the swelling of an ankle after a sprain to the accumulation of "serous fluid," which he explains is a byproduct of blood filtering.

"The fluid may become highly concentrated around blood vessels in the skin, leading to localized swelling as well as small blisters if the damage is minor." It takes some time for the body to reabsorb the fluid from a blister, "typically via the lymphatic system." However, "sometimes they are highly stiff and shallow and simply rupture, discharging the fluid outside the skin and then requiring to heal." Although blisters are a typical symptom of eczema, having blisters on their own does not confirm that you have the skin disease. Eczema blisters may develop due to an infection, an allergic reaction, or exposure to an irritant in the environment.

Common Forms of Eczema That Cause Blisters

There are many distinct kinds of eczema, and the blisters connected with them may take on a variety of forms.

The Itch of Dyshidrosis

The NEA reports that women are more likely to have hand and foot eczema, also known as pompholyx, foot-and-hand eczema, palmoplantar eczema, and vesicular eczema. According to the NEA, vesicles are tiny, deep blisters that often appear on the palms, soles, and sides of the fingers. Because of the blisters, the affected areas of skin become exceedingly itchy and flaky. Cracks and dryness in the skin might become a problem. Stress, seasonal allergens, and hot, humid weather are common causes of dyshidrotic eczema.

The NEA reports that the rash and blisters it causes may be triggered by a variety of substances, including nickel and professions that need the hands to be moist regularly, such as hairstyling. Eczema sufferers with dyshidrotic eczema should start with topical therapy like cold compresses and corticosteroid lotions or ointments.

The thick skin of the hands and feet, where this kind of eczema is commonly seen, necessitates the administration of a stronger topical corticosteroid, as explained by Lio. According to the National Eczema Society, dermatologists may gently drain bigger blisters with a sterile needle to ease discomfort, and "we commonly utilize soaks such as Burow's solution to help calm and dry up the blisters."

The Skin Reaction to Allergens, or Contact Eczema

Allergic contact dermatitis is what you get when you accidentally come into touch with a plant that causes an allergic reaction, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac, and you break out in a blistering, itchy rash. The NEA reports that two days after being exposed to the leaves, most persons develop little lines of eczema blisters where the leaves brushed against them. Metallic substances (particularly nickel) and perfumes are also prominent triggers. A tiny crust may form on the surface when these blisters burst.

Acne and Eczema Treatment

Cleaning the skin properly to eliminate all traces of the allergen is an important part of treating eczema caused by allergies. The NEA also suggests avoiding anything that you know may produce a rash or eczema blisters. Avoiding the offending substance is sometimes the best way to treat contact dermatitis. However, the Cleveland Clinic reports that for more severe responses, steroid creams or lotions may be recommended, or alternatively, oral drugs to lessen inflammation and other symptoms may be recommended.

Dry Skin from Constant Exposure to Cold

Contact dermatitis may be triggered by exposure to irritants such acids, solvents, harsh soaps, or detergents. Similar to the treatment for allergic contact dermatitis, the same approach is used for irritant contact dermatitis. Regarding safety measures, Lio says, "even regular hand washing might lead to irritating contact dermatitis." According to him, this is by far the most prevalent patient complaint during the current COVID-19 outbreak. If the irritation is very potent, eczema blisters may burst out instantly, resembling burns.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the rash is more likely to cause discomfort than itching. Blisters from eczema may be avoided by, as noted, avoiding anything that is known to irritate the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water and using lotion after washing your hands to further alleviate any soreness.

Eczema Blistering Occurs When Infections Strike

Eczema patients are at increased risk for infection due to the open sores and broken skin that often accompany the condition. According to the NEA, eczema herpeticum is a potentially fatal condition caused by a combination of atopic dermatitis and the herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1), the same virus that may cause cold sores and certain instances of genital herpes. Skin-to-skin contact with HSV-1 may cause infection in someone with even moderate eczema.

The itching, watery blisters of eczema are abundant. Fluid within the blisters changes to yellow pus as the infection rapidly spreads, causing fever and flu-like symptoms. Untreated, the NEA cautions that the illness may spread to other organs and cause death. Antiviral drugs and pain relievers, when required, are used to treat eczema herpeticum.

According to the Mayo Clinic, pus-filled blisters and honey-colored crusting over the skin are additional symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections. Antibiotics and drainage of blisters or wounds are used to treat staph infections. Infected eczema blisters will be red, heated to the touch, drain a white substance, and expand up, as described by Rieder. In addition, "if the blister is huge or painful or expanding, or if you have redness and swelling beneath that is spreading, and definitely if you acquire a fever, you should be seen quickly by your doctor."

A Strategy to Reduce the Incidence of Eczema Blisters

Even though eczema blisters aren't always preventable, following your treatment plan religiously may help. Maintain enough skin moisture and take prescription medicines as directed. According to the Cleveland Clinic, scratching makes the problem worse and opens the door to infection.