Different Types of Eczema Blisters, Prevention, Treatment, and More
Blisters can be extremely painful and lead to other serious problems, including skin infections. If you have eczema, you are most likely doing what you can to manage your itchy, red, and inflamed skin. However, there may be times when your eczema becomes much worse and your skin develops eczema blisters, which can make you even more uncomfortable and embarrassed.
But just what are eczema blisters, and how can you treat and prevent them from recurring? Keep reading to find out more.
What Are Eczema Blisters?
Eczema blisters are tiny blisters that often accompany certain types of eczema. Your skin may already be red and itchy, with areas that are scaly and flaking. Without warning, eczema can become inflamed, causing blisters to form. These blisters start off small and itchy but can quickly become more severe, and often leak fluid. They often appear in clusters with a burning sensation on your skin.
Blisters are associated with three different types of eczema: dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. There are different treatments and preventions for each.
Blisters Caused by Dyshidrotic Eczema
Dyshidrotic eczema, which is more common in women, is typically found on your hands and feet. Tiny blisters form on the soles of your feet, in between your fingers and on the palms of your hands. These blisters cause the skin to become scaly, flaky, and extremely itchy.
After blisters appear, it can take up to three weeks for them to dry up and disappear. The problem is that even though the first cluster of blisters may be healing, other blisters are developing.
Treatment of Dyshidrotic Eczema Blisters
You can treat these eczema blisters at home by soaking your feet and hands in cool water, or applying cool compresses for 15 to 20 minutes, up to four times a day. After soaking, apply a moisturizing cream or skin repair cream to the affected areas of your skin.
If you have a severe case of eczema blisters, your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment. Larger blisters can be drained in-office.
Other treatment options include phototherapy, where UVB light is used to treat eczema, or Botox injections to reduce wetness and sweating, which are both triggers for dyshidrotic eczema.
Be sure to monitor the blisters, as they can quickly become infected and require medical care.
Dyshidrotic Eczema Blister Prevention
There is no cure for dyshidrotic eczema; treatment comes down to managing the blisters to ease any discomfort. One thing you can do to stop eczema flare-ups is to avoid triggers, which are different for each person. Some common triggers include nickel and cobalt, stress, and plant pollen.
For many people, it can be difficult to determine what their triggers are. If this is the case for you, your only option for blisters caused by dyshidrotic eczema is to treat the symptoms.
Blisters Caused by Contact Dermatitis
Although more common with irritant contact dermatitis than allergic contact dermatitis, both types of eczema can cause blisters. Small eczema blisters can appear without warning, causing pain, redness, and inflammation.
Treatment of Contact Dermatitis Blisters
The first course of treatment for blisters caused by allergens or irritants is to thoroughly wash the area where the substance came in contact with your skin. Avoid rubbing, scratching, or touching the skin to minimize any irritation.
For mild skin reactions with just a few blisters, use calamine lotion and oatmeal baths in lukewarm water to relieve itchiness. When drying your skin, pat it gently without rubbing. If there are clusters of blisters, apply a cold compress for 30 minutes. You can do this up to three times a day.
Over-the-counter steroid creams and lotions are another treatment option.
If the blisters are red, painful, and inflamed, they may be infected. Your doctor can prescribe oral medication to reduce the symptoms and infection. You’ll need to be sure to take this medication until finished, otherwise the eczema blisters can recur.
Contact Dermatitis Blister Prevention
Blisters from contact dermatitis cannot be prevented; they can only be treated when they occur. If you know what allergen or irritant your skin came in contact with, avoid the substance in the future. If you need to handle the substance, wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid direct contact.
Atopic dermatitis causes dry, scaly patches to appear on the surface of the skin. Repeated rubbing and scratching of the affected areas can cause eczema blisters to form. These blisters can become quite severe, oozing and weeping fluid. They can be extremely itchy and painful, and continued scratching can often lead to infection.
Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis Blisters
If you have atopic dermatitis, it’s important that you always use a good moisturizer on your skin. Moisturizers not only help repair your damaged skin, they also act as a skin barrier and keep moisture in your skin.
There are several different kinds of medication your doctor may prescribe to treat eczema blisters. One of these medications is topical corticosteroids, to reduce the inflammation and itchiness. Another medication is topical calcineurin inhibitors, which can help reduce the itching and redness of the affected skin and blisters.
Phototherapy is another treatment used for blisters caused by atopic dermatitis, particularly if you have chronic eczema and experience numerous flare-ups in one year.
Eczema blisters from atopic dermatitis can quickly become infected. If this occurs, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection.
Atopic Dermatitis Blister Prevention
To prevent bouts of blisters from atopic dermatitis use a moisturizer on your skin at least twice each day. Find a product that works well for you so that your skin stays well moisturized at all times.
When bathing or showering, use warm water, never hot, and limit yourself to 10 to 15 minutes so you are not drying out your skin.
Avoid triggers that cause atopic eczema flare-ups, such as food allergies, dust and pollen allergies, and soaps and detergents.
Infections and Eczema Blisters
Eczema blisters, no matter what type of eczema you have, can easily become infected after they burst. The damaged and raw skin is now at risk for bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Follow your eczema treatment plan to protect your skin as much as possible to lower the risk of blisters.
If you suspect a blister that has become infected, seek medical attention.