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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


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.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
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