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Tiny fluid filled vesicles on fingers!!

I have had these fluid filled vesicles on my fingers since August 2008.  I cannot seem to figure out what caused it or why it will not go away.  My family Dr. says that it is contact dermatitis.  He has given me predisone 2 a day for 5 days, medrol pack x2 back to back, 2 different fungal/steroid creams, steroid lotion, and recently I went to the school nurse practitioner at the college I go to because I have no more money to go to the Dr. and she gave me Urea lotion 40% which I am currently using.  Before I went to the Dr. I tried soaking it in peroxide, using antibiotic ointment.  This is my history of it is:  the vesicles appeared on my fingers (R 4th finger and L 3rd finger).  after about a week they pop or I pop them, I have small open soars for a couple of days and skin becomes scaly and then sloughs off.  This is a vicious cycle that happens about every three weeks or so.  I do not know what to do.  It started at the beginning of nursing school before I ever used latex gloves.  I do not recall if it started before we used this hand dye or not.  I just wish someone could tell me how to get rid of it.  Please help me!
16 Responses
Avatar universal
I've been trying to find anecdotal evidence of the very same thing you're describing. Tiny bubbles trying to break out, usually just one or two at a time, on one or two fingers max, always on the back of the hand side never on the palm side. Pretty much like you said, they come and go every few weeks, if I try to pop them some fluid comes out but the fluid quickly clots over and the bubble forms again. It's strange you mention August 2008, maybe its a coincidence but my symptoms started around the same time. The thing is, all this time I've been theorising that I gave myself some mild form of herpetic whitlow, because I recall having a breakout on my lip during the summer, and I had what looked like whitlow for a week or so ( hard bumps under the skin, on the side of the index finger). But the tiny bubbles started appearing much later. Going to the doctor was no help. I've tried drying them with alcohol, putting on polysporin, nothing really helps, they just appear and disappear on their own. In the winter the dryness makes it a lot worse as well. Do you have any update on your condition ? I'm wondering if this is something that surfaced recently, I cant find info on anything remotely similar, except for your post.
Avatar universal
I have not found a solution to my problem yet.  Recently I had bronchitis and they gave me a medrol dose pack and biaxin.  I have taken many dose packs before for my fingers and it makes it go away but it always returns.  I am a nursing student and my teacher who is a nurse practitioner says that it may be satph epidermis.  Well I took the Biaxin, which is a broad spectrum antibiotic, while I was taking the medrol pack and it seemed to stay gone longer.  I only had a 7 day supply of Biaxin so I am wondering I would have had more, maybe it would have cured it.  Who knows?  When I get more oney I am going to try and go back to the Dr and try more Biaxin.  If you find a cure please let me know.
Avatar universal
best everyone,

i have a similar condition. and a couple of months ago i was told by a friend of my girlfriends sister(like it matters) that it would propably be a milk allergy. As i could remember eating loads of milk due to my cerial addiction, i've tried regulating my milk consumption. this indeed seemed to have a very positive effect, as the vesicles soon started to harden and after some time i forgot about them and the were indeed gone. alas, i cannot tell you about the long run, due to my addiction to cerial got the better of me. perhaps, because all else fails, it is a possibility to go on a milk diet for (perhaps) a month and see the results. a month without milk could be possible for anyone..

kind regards,

well i'd rather stay anomynous
Avatar universal
Pompholyx, or it could be viral Coxsackie (hand, foot and mouth) or other enterovirus?

Possibly a stronger topcal corticosteroid such as Dermovate (clobetasol propionate). It could be contact derm, if it's recurring so frequently

One thing though you should see Occ health at your course and or employer and be assessed for suitable protective gloves eg non latex non-powder.
Avatar universal
I have suffered from this malady off-and-on for over 15 years. There is NOTHING you can do to stop the cycle. By the time you've had your first itch or first blister, it is too late. No OTC remedies, or even prescription hydrocortisone will work, and in my opinion only prolongs the agony. So save your money. Calamine, Hydrocortisone, Benadryl...none of that stuff works. I say agony because if you get a full blown break-out, you will know what I mean. I'm going through it now. I have noticed that it is somehow related to contact with something. It used to be I'd get it when I came into chemicals when I was doing stained glass projects, but still it was intermittent even then. More recently, I'm noticing I get it when I wash windows and have my hand in the dirty water (probably nicotine in the water). This has happened 3 times over as many years (I forget to put gloves on). The cycle is always the same. It starts with a itch, maybe 1 or 2 blisters on the ring or baby finger usually, then spreads. I usually get mine on both hands, all fingers and palms. They get red, swollen and extremely painful, and lasts a full 2 weeks. One week of blisters, one week of peeling.

Either way, the only thing I've found that helps is at the first sign of itching to put my hands under hot running water as hot as I can stand. The hot water will "make" it itch, but somehow relieves the itching if you hold your hands under the water long enough. I repeat this process whenever they start to itch again, maybe every few hours. You can also put them under cold water after the hot, as this seems to relieve the redness and swelling. I sometimes put a cotton ball soaked in vinegar on them too. It feels good, but I'n not sure if it helps stop the cycle. Afterward, I rub Udder Cream on them to keep them soft. This seemed to "dry" up the little blisters after about a day, lessening it from a week. This also eliminated the "breaking open" or "shedding" of the skin, which usually took another week to heal. So I've dropped the cycle down to 3-4 days max from 2-3 weeks for it to complete the cycle.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Sounds like you are all describing Pompholyx eczema... a vesicular form of eczema. I've been dealing with this for years now. Nothing really extreme, but I have noticed this pattern: when my stress level increases I have an outbreak etc. I had a real upswing with this condition after the birth of my daughter. It never used to be anything major and would go away really quickly, but when the bumps stuck around and the tips of my fingers seemed to stay really dried and cracked I started researching... I notice that with a new baby I am washing my hands WAY more than ever before and I think that has really contributed to the skin on my hands being overly dry. I now use more cream and lotion to combat this and that has started to help.

Check out this website: www.eczema.suite101.com for some information. This is a fantastic resource!!!

One thing of importance: DO NOT break the little bubbles/bumps/vesicles. Let them run their course and keep your skin as hydrated as possible.

Good luck everyone
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