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tiny itchy blisters on arms & legs

Shamefully, for almost 8 years I have been getting very small itchy blisters on various spots on my arms and legs.  The small blisters develop and immediately itch intensely, which is how I know they're there.  They have a clear fluid inside, with no puss.  When I scratch them in my sleep or when they break, they often weep a little  amber colored liquid.  Also, when I scratch them, more tiny blisters will develop around the original blister, signifying an infection.  These broken blisters often leave  (little open sores) which can be difficult and slow to heal.  These outbreaks seem to come in waves, as I'll often go weeks or even a month or two without a sign of blisters, itching, or infection.  I have never had any white puss or swelling redness around these troublesome blisters/vesicles, which isn't like any normal skin infection I've ever had before.  Can anyone help me diagnosis this problem please?
287 Responses
Avatar universal

Differentials may include eczematous disease ( allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis)involving the extremities.There may be an overlying infection after severely scratching or breaking the skin.

Have you any known allergies?

At this point it is difficult to tell what causes the condition. A complete examination by an internist or dermatologist may help.

Have you tried taking any medications before that relieved the symptoms?

Application of cold compress over the extremities, avoiding extreme heat or dryness, washing with a bland hypoallergenic soap and avoiding other possible triggers ( like food, certain medications,stressors) may help.
Avatar universal
I too seem to suffer the exact symptoms, as is always the case it is nice to know you are not the only one suffering these symptoms.  For me they seem to come and go and are mostly on my right & left arm & right leg, I have also had on occasions small blisters on the roof of my mouth towards the back (I am not sure if this could be linked but having  thought about it a bit the thought now crosses my mind).

Of course if you search there are a multitude of other things it could be from things such as a food allergy (Gluten, etc) to Staph Infection (Staphylococcus Aureus) and these are to name but a few indeed.

I also have had Pneumonia once before that took a while to clear and now seem to have some sort of sinus/mucus problem and occasionally experience a slight shortness of breath, again these may not be related and some may be down to the fact i am not in the best shape I could be in but I do not drink or smoke etc.

I do think the bottom line is seeing my Doctor in the vain hope whoever I see will show some kind of interest and point me in the right direction so a diagnosis can be reached.

Anyway I hope what I have wrote helps or inspires you in some way!

And remember you are not the only one suffering this (from the sound of things)

Avatar universal
I also suffer from this rash.  I live in an area that was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.  Since the storm, I have had this same type of rash repeatedly.  I have gone to the emergency room numerous times because the rash would be so severe that after taking a bath, they would ooze this sappy looking stuff that was sticky, I would have a rash on my body after the blisters went away that resembled measles and would have severe asthmatic flare ups-allergic reaction I was informed.  But the question was From What though?  No answer  This only happened after the bath.    I still do not know what is the reason.  I tried a cream called Lidex, very cheap for generic, it worked great.  But the rash comes and goes. To end the reoccurance of it would be a blessing.  I would love to know what it is.  It itches and burns and drives me crazy.  If anyone could shed light, it would be greatly appreciated.
Avatar universal
I too have been pestered for many years with these intense itching little blisters on my fingers, hands and arms.  Some are in streaks, little lines, singluar spots, and in the worst areas they form a little mass that eventually turns red with little scabs from scratching in my sleep.  They remind me so much of poison ivy rash but I know that is not the case.  I used to be plagued with poison ivy as a child on these same areas, and I even wondered if the toxin is still in my system and works it's way to the surface every so often.  One thing I do know is it seems to occur after a change in diet.  I'm always working towards a healthier life style eating foods that are not processed, without chemicals and pesticides, and more on the raw side.  Well being human and all, sometimes I slip and slide in this and find myself eating processed cheese fries and lots of sugar delights.  It's after these eating intoxications that I notice the rash occuring.  When I eat healthy I know my liver is cleansing my body well, and then when I back track on the unhealthy stuff my liver works overtime to cleanse my body.  I kind of wonder if the rash is a response to toxins in the body.  Because, when I get back on track eating healthy foods, I never experience the rash.  It's only when I eat chemicals like high fructose corn syrup, and highly processed foods that the rash develops.  It sure takes it's time going away becauce it spreads if the blisters are scratched open, just like poison ivy does.  Also personally, my skin has always been a bit sensitive to external chemicals as well.  I've had to change deodorants and detergents because I would get a rash out of nowhere.  
Avatar universal
Is this an HPV related symptom?
577226 tn?1217716009

I too have this problem and you have described it beautifully. It first appears on my right or left arm as an intensely itchy spot which is impossible to resist scratching and the more you scratch the worse it gets. After scratching, tiny weeping eruptions appear and tends to cause it to spread. In my case, the itching is so intense that I can't get to sleep at night.

I too can go for months at a time without this annoying affliction appearing.  In my case, this curse started 20 years ago. I had been working clearing a vacant lot when I accidentally disturbed a large wasp (yellow jacket) nest and had multiple stings on both of my arms.

The following summer was when these itchy spots started and they have been randomly appearing ever since. I strongly suspect that I still have the remanent of wasp sting venom in my system and something in the air triggers these random outbreaks.

I have tried every anti-itch medication I could find, including prescription medication from my Doctor, but it only made the itch worse. So, in desperation, I tried experimenting with different concoctions on my own.

I found that the most effective method was to do the following.

Prepare a gauze pad large enough to well cover the infected area. Saturate it with ice cold water and liberally sprinkle it with ordinary iodized table salt. Place the pad on the infected are (salt side down) and hold it in place with a bandage. Note: I use a piece of stretchy material held together by velcro.

This method reduces the itch and salt (being a natural disinfectant) causes it to heal up.

Hope this helps

Avatar universal
I too suffer from this problem. This started about two years ago on my legs. I went to the doctor and they did a skin biopsy and the results were inconclusive so he attribited it to insect bites. Now I get these breakouts on my arms and it seems that everytime I'm around certain people I have a breakout. I tend to get one to two bumps/blisters at a time. They start off as tiny itchy prickly bumps and then they get bigger and begin to ooze clear fluid. They also leave dark spots on my skin. So my arms look like they have cigarette burns on them. This is so frustrating because no one can tell me what it is.
577226 tn?1217716009
Hi all,

Regarding the random itchy spots that were so correctly described by twilightburl above.

I just finished an outbreak of those annoying intensely itching spots that appear randomly on various parts of the body (in my case, my arms). Thank God, that's the only place that they appear.

In a message I sent earlier (listed above). I described a method I used to calm the itch and get it to heal and it worked very well for me.

With this last itchy spot that appeared on my right arm, I decided to try something a little different.

Instead of using cold water, Use ordinary Iodine, then sprinkle salt on the moist Iodine and cover with a gauze pad. Use a bandage (or other method) to hold it in place.

It works beautifully for me and you have nothing to loose by trying it.


Avatar universal
My mom has been getting the same itchy bumps on her arms for almost a year now.  Nothing seemed to work until I suggested she start taking an Antihistamine.  This seems to help alot.

She has no history of allergies, bug bites or what have you, but she does get cold sores and suffered a severe outbreak on her entire face due to contracting bacterial menangitis where her immune system was so impaired, the herpes ran rampant.

This was 5yrs ago, so I'm not sure if its related, but the way she describes it to me, it sounds exactly like a cold sore...It makes me wonder if it is at all possible for this virus to migrate, or if it is some new form of the disease..

Avatar universal
I suffer from the same exact kinda thing only they seem to appear on my feet, legs, and upper arms. I am 13 years old and have yet to see a dermatologist. The symptoms described match my exact problem, for you see i have been getting these "Very small itchy blisters" Every year between June-September. I have been searching all over the internet for something like the blisters described at the top, mainly for the "amber colored ooze" and "more tiny blisters will develop around the original blister" I was puzzled at first but went on thinking it was a plant because it had recently the first time i got it spread to my mother. contagious plant? I have to suspect it is this though because the detailed explanation matches my exact issue. PLEASE HELP
Avatar universal
Sounds just like Morgellons
Avatar universal
He has no fever but he does say it itches him and when it pops he says it burns
its only on the legs never have seen them anyway else on his body and they are
smell to nickel size clear blisters and clear liquid they tired Bactroban and
mupirocin they told me to put it in the nose for 5 days two times and on his
legs did that and they,re still coming.  thanks for all you can do for me
anything helps i just want to make sure he does not get a bad infection
Avatar universal


670657 tn?1226721140
I have this same rash it started in September on my arm from my wrist to my elbow. It was small blisters that are filled with clear fluid and ich and burn the more I ich. I have been on meds( all in my post) and have had a MRSA test and that was neg. No one can tell me what this is. I had thought it could be from the hottub we used at the restort we were at 2 weeks before this started. I now have 3 tiny blisters starting on my left arm.Nothing seems to work to get rid of them or the ich. I guess I iched my other arm so much I got Cellulities from this. I am seeing a Dermatologist next week as my Dr told me there is nothing she can do and I should just live with it and in time it will clear up on its own.
Avatar universal
My boyfriend has had the same problem for years and since we started dating about 4 months ago I started to get the same small blisters on my fingers and forarms.He too gets them on his hands,back,and upper arms.So I did some research today and I think it is definitely a small infection of scabies.I will post a website that has more info.
http://www.4leafdesigns.com/templates/scabies/causesandsymptoms.htm  Some pictures are very foul and gross.The symptoms I notice is from the finger picture and my boyfrds bac the SFS pic kinda.
Avatar universal
from  lynette /Spain  
  I have a rash on my arms ive had it for about 2years its a burning itching  blisters that burst after scratching, it has moved up my arms  .I got it after i brushed past apepper plant in my  garden. i to have been to the doctors but to no avail.Ive been given antihistemn injections which seem to work for afew days .Ihave found spaying vinaga on at night stops the itching .Ihave allso been appling neat tea tree oil every 2 hours releives the itching too  .I YET to fine cure but iam experimenting with lots of things .AS  i am fed up with this rash at least its gone from the bottom of my arms now as ive been treating it with teatree oil .let me know if teatree oil works for you  lynette                                                                
Avatar universal
I have the same problem, the first time i got them when i was 9 years old, I had 7 blisters on my left thigh, at first they looked like mosquito bites and they were so itchy, and they turned into blisters. And I have several marks in my feet and legs and right arm, And everytime I would have blisters I'd feel so sick, I feel like I have a fever and my legs or arms would feel so hot. And when they're about to heal, it gets itchier.  I noticed that I'll just have them when it's around Spring-Fall. Now I have red bumps on my arms, I dont know what to do, cus they seem to be itchier at night. I hope we all get over this disease and find a cure.
Avatar universal
I have three blister looking things on my arm one medium and two small and its red all around it i woke up with them now im scared im going to the docters tommoro but what if they cant do anything i cant live with theese things i would get picked on!
Omg help.!
Avatar universal
I have had these symptoms for just over 4 years.  We recently moved to the area and lived in our home for about a year and a half.  

They randomly appear and I honestly have no idea what triggers them.  I have seen multiple dermatologist, who have run a plethora of blood test - all inconclusive.  I have tried many creams, nothing that really helps.  I have seen an allergist and even subjected myself to the food and pollen allergy panel of tests.  Nothing significant that can explain the outbreaks.

I'm so frustrated because no one seems to be able to come up with anything other than just throwing their arms up in the air and saying, "Oh, well.  We don't know."

I have made sever changes in our home to try to reduce allergens.  We have very little carpeting, no drapes, no plans in the home and no pets.  The mattress are all brand new and they all the the allergen covers as well as all the pillows.  We only use white bath towels, which I only use once.  It is washed in hot water and bleach about once a month.  And when I bleach, I do a double rinse.  My sheets are changed weekly and also washed in hot water.  I seriously don't know what else to do.

I am currently experiencing and outbreak.  I have blisters on the tops of my feet and by my ankles.  I also have about 4 spots on my left side.  Prior to this outbreak, the last time I had one was last summer.  I distinctly remember that I was doing some planting.  I had on pants, a long sleeve shirt and a hat.  I was also wearing gloves, so my skin contact with anything would have been minimal.  However, I ended up with blisters on my left shoulder, which is a rather random spot.  With this said, I am somewhat convinced that my allergic reaction is to something that is airborne and it must be something that I am breathing in.  We live close to a park, so I'm not sure if it might be a pollen from there or something that might be in our own yard.

Additionally, they leave a terrible scar - even if you are able to not scratch them.  

When my outbreaks were really severe, my derm would recommend that I soak in a warm bath with a cup of bleach.  Or I would do a mixture of white vinegar with water in spray bottle.  I would spray the infected areas while I was in the shower.  I have also applied ice, which seriously takes the edge of the itching, for a bit.

I have bookmarked this discussion website in the hopes that someone will share any findings that might be beneficial to all.
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been getting this rash, small blisters or red bumps on my arms starting about 8 years ago it has now migrated to my legs. (I am 54 years old and a male, retired for the whole time I've been getting this.) It only comes in the spring and lasts about 3-5 weeks. I walk for exercise in a park every day and I wear shorts and a t shirt so I was thinking it was the sun and heat but after an unseasonably cool spring I have come to think it is related to pollen, so maybe this is an allergy ? The reason I think this is because every year I've had these I've been heavily tanned on those areas, this year I have only walked twice wearing shorts and I have them again. I try and figure it out every year to no avail, my doctor has given me a steroid cream but they last the same amount of time if I use it or not. Over the years from scratching them they have left tiny white scars as well. I know in years  past the best treatment was submerging my arms in ice cold water for relief but I don't know if this actually helped since they seem to just go away after about a month, which makes it near impossible to tell if anything really works.
Avatar universal
I have the same things, they seem to appear after I have been in my backyard.  After looking around the Internet, I think they are chigger bites.

Avatar universal

Avatar universal
Did any one ever find out what this is? It's driving me crazy. I get it in the summer and suspect it is triggered by the sun.
Avatar universal
Has anyone ever found out what this is?  I've suffered with exactly the same thing for years!

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