Reference Index - Symptoms

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Bullous pemphigoid, close-up of tense blisters
Bullous pemphigoid, close-up of tense blisters


Chigger bite - close-up of blisters
Chigger bite - close-up of blisters


Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the soles
Hand, foot, and mouth disease on the soles


Herpes simplex - close-up
Herpes simplex - close-up


Herpes zoster (shingles) - close-up of lesion
Herpes zoster (shingles) - close-up of lesion


Poison ivy on the knee
Poison ivy on the knee


Poison ivy on the leg
Poison ivy on the leg


Vesicles
Vesicles


Vesicles

Definition:

A vesicle is a small fluid-filled blister.

See also: Bulla



Alternative Names:

Blisters



Considerations:

A vesicle is small -- it may be as tiny as the top of a pin or up to 5 or 10 millimeters wide.

In many cases, vesicles break easily and release their fluid onto the skin. When this fluid dries, yellow crusts may remain on the skin surface.



Common Causes:

Many diseases and conditions can cause vesicles. Some common examples include:



Home Care:

As a general rule, your doctor should examine any skin rashes, including vesicles.

Over-the-counter treatments are available for certain conditions that cause vesicles, including poison ivy and cold sores.



Call your health care provider if:

Call your doctor if you have any unexplained blisters on your skin.



What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Your doctor will look at your skin. Some vesicules can be diagnosed simply by how they look.

In many cases, however, additional tests are needed. The fluid inside a blister may be sent to a lab for closer examination. In particularly difficult cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to make or confirm a diagnosis.



Prevention:



References:

Armstrong CA. Examination of the skin and approach to diagnosing skin diseases. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 462.

Rapini RP. Clinical and pathologic differential diagnosis. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP, eds. Dermatology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:vol 1.




Review Date: 5/2/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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