Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can allergies cause blisters to form on hands?"

ZocdocAnswersCan allergies cause blisters to form on hands?


I'm 22 and just started getting blisters forming on my hands, for no reason that I can discern. Is this possibly an allergic reaction? I've never seen anything like it, but I have been spending a lot of time outside and thought it could be a natural allergy.


The first piece of additional information that I would want to know is whether you have a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis (dry, itching areas of skin), or nasal allergies, or asthma. This history would greatly increase the likelihood that what you are experiencing is eczema on the hands. This is a nonspecific inflammatory reaction of the skin, more common in cold dry weather, that responds to keeping the skin clean and dry, applying frequent moisturizer, and using a topical steroid cream. Eczema often occurs on the hands and often presents with itching blisters and reddened areas. It is also important not to scratch these, as this will delay the healing process. The other possibility is of course that you have a full on allergic reaction, or contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis and eczema can often be difficult to tell apart, as they often look and feel similarly. It is important therefore to think if you might have had any potential exposures that could provoke a contact reaction - things like strong cleaning chemical, jewelry containing nickel, and poison ivy are all common causes. Contact dermatitis is treated similarly to eczema. If the rash does not clear up, you may wish to show it to your dermatologist or primary care doctor to see if more aggressive treatment is needed.

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