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Bisous 05-01-2009 08:35 PM

Blisters on hands
I've had this for about three years and several doctors have said they've no idea what it is (and have never run any kinds of tests).
Quite unexpectedly, I'll have these tiny blisters that will appear on the palms/fingers..they don't hurt, but rather itch a little. I'll bust them one by one and a clear fluid (like water) comes out leaving a small red dot in the center of where the blister had been. The skin the dries off pretty quickly leaving dry flaky skin which will linger for several days until it falls off from washing and/or exposure.
Like I said, these come on totally unexpected and I can break out with as little as two to maybe 20+ blisters at a time. They appear on the palms themselves and the tips of my fingers. Those on my fingetips will dry off like the others but leave the very tips raw and exposed for several weeks.
No, I'm not using any new soaps, lotions, hand creams, cleansers..I'm not using ANY new products. I have recently tested positive for elevated something or other of the liver and I do take several meds for other conditions.
Have any of you had, or heard of this problem? Is it my liver, the meds, or something different altogether???
Pleas help I'm going through a bout right now.
Thanks to all.

harka 05-02-2009 06:57 AM

Re: Blisters on hands

Rashes and stuff appear on the body all the time; however, when they involve the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, they are ALWAYS abnormal and the list of possibilities is limited, though all of them are important things to investigate. You need to be seen by a dermatologist. This is not something like acne which is largely a cosmetic thing--this is something which could be an indication of an underlying internal organ disease. You said your liver was out of whack? There are a number of liver conditions which can result in bullous skin eruptions. Porphyria cutanea tarda, bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis etc. etc.

I am surprised your family doctor didn't become more alarmed at this!

PS Do you find you get the eruption on your hands if you're out in the sun for extended periods of time?

Bisous 05-02-2009 12:13 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
Thank you for your reply, cgranulomatis, I appreciate it.
Two arthritis doctors are aware of this and they both said it's not arthritis -- don't know what it is. I was referred to a liver specialist a few weeks ago and she also said she doesn't know what it is, and promptly changed the subject. She concentrated on my liver and I am now awaiting results of extensive bloodwork and an ultrasound. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for last part of June.
I don't think it's related to sun exposure as I can get it even when I've been home say, for three days in a row. Do you know anyone that's had this condition? Should I mention it a second time to the liver dr? Oh, and by the way they think whatever's wrong with my liver is being caused by years of taking medication, ie; vicodin, zoloft, lorazepam.

harka 05-02-2009 03:54 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
I notice a lot of people coming to the boards here have doctors who don't seem to listen to them. That sucks, and I wish that didn't happen to you.

The most common bullous skin disorder is probably herpes-zoster (commonly known as shingles), but that happens in a very specific pattern and is painful, and it very rarely involves the palms of the hands.

Doctors who are trained in internal medicine can end up subspecializing in things like liver medicine, lung medicine, infectious diseases etc. etc. In Canada, except for a few areas (like cardiology & oncology) subspecialsts while good at their own subspecialty, tend to stay strong on other aspects of GENERAL internal medicine. I find reading posts from our American counterparts that this doesn't seem to be the case. It's like the subspecialists people are seeing are ONLY paying attention to their specialty organ. It is very common knowledge in Internal medicine that dysfunction of specific organ systems, or pathologic processes involving more than one organ (such as vasculitis) can cause dermatologic eruptions.

Now, while it's possible for dermatologic eruptions to be secondary to internal organ dysfunction, they can appear primarily WITHOUT other organ dysfunction. I mentioned some common vesciculobullous (blistering) diseases of the skin include: zoster, pemphigus, pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis etc.

Question: other than the palms of your hands, is there any other area of the skin which is blistering? Do you have involvement of the inside of your mouth, inside of your eyelids, and sorry for the graphic detail, but in the vagina?

If the hepatologist doesn't seem to know what is causing the blistering, the least they can do is refer you to a dermatologist who will be very familiar with this....though I should say, while not as expert as a dermatologist, any doctor trained in internal medicine should have some baseline familiarity with skin lesions.

Bisous 05-02-2009 07:19 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
I've been prone to cold sores on my mouth since childhood, always on the outside and, generally, the corner of my mouth...painful and unsightly but nothing serious. Took me a lifetime to discover this: taking a plain aspirin at the FIRST sign (tingle) of an eruption stops it dead on it's tracks..guaranteed!! I broke out in horrible hives years ago when going through a divorce..the condition lasted several months and I truly believe I "willed" it away. No other type of blisters/eruptions aywhere else on my body--ever. Mom, however, has had several bouts with shingles.

I will contact my primary this Monday for a referral to a dermatologist, and,
thank you, once again for taking the time to chat with me about've helped me relax.

AuntieLeela 05-02-2009 08:28 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
What you've described reminds me of Pompholyx aka Dyshidrosis. After having the itchy little devils on the side of my hands and fingers for years, finally my rheumatologist guessed (correctly) at what they were.

"Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, is a skin condition in which small, fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) occur on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, or both."

harka 05-02-2009 09:07 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
This is a very good point auntieleela. Subcutaneous extravasation of sweat can definitely cause bullae though they normally shouldn't cause palmar involvement. I actually had this when I was in Europe sweating like a maniac and getting burned at the same time heehee (first sunburn of my life as I have darker skin).

Bisous 05-02-2009 09:45 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
Sweat??? Hmmm, I've been washing my hands more than usual because of the swine flu scare, and today's been an unusually cold day in California, nonetheless, I've got maybe 20 new blisters since this morning. Strange...

Auntieleela, were you offered any treatment and are you completely free of the condition? Is it contagious?

Off to goggle I go...

Bisous 05-03-2009 03:12 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
Auntieleela, you pointed me in the right direction--I have DYSHIDROSIS! The write-up and pictures on ********* confirm it..thanks sooo much!
There are things and situations I have to stay clear of, changes in my life are required and first thing I've done is trash my INFUSIUM shampoo as it contains an ingredient that will bring on, or maximize a breakout..(I'd shampood my hair with it yesterday morning.)

I've bookmarked the **** page and I'm off to a leisure review of the info.

Good day wishes to you and cgranulomitis!

harka 05-03-2009 03:17 PM

Re: Blisters on hands
Glad you've found the solution! Nice.

Bisous 05-18-2009 12:23 AM

Re: Blisters on hands
Thank you, harka. For one, I am now using an all natural shampoo..only two blisters since I switched. I didn't see a dermatologist as I think I can kick this in the b... with just a few changes in my life. As for the liver condition: I have an appt. towards the end of this month where the dr. will give me results of extensive lab work and ultrasound. I'm hoping for the best.

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