Blister on Hands: Fingers, Water, Small, Itchy, Causes, Treatment

Why blister on hands and fingers? Explore more on causes of small, watery, itchy and painful blisters on your hands, symptoms and how to treat.

Blister on Hands Causes

A blister also called a vesicle by medical professionals, this is basically an injured area of your skin that has a developed a bubble-like appearance because of fluid that has accumulated between the layers of your skin.
You are probably familiar with blisters on hands from digging or cultivating a land using a Jembe after a long time without using rough object on your hand. This common cause of blistering produces vesicles when friction between your hand and the jembe handle causes layers of skin to separate and fill with fluid.
Blisters are often annoying, painful, or uncomfortable. In most cases, they are not a symptom of anything serious and will heal without any medical intervention. Some of the common causes of having blister on hands include:

  • Irritation

Blisters can be caused by physical factors that irritate the skin, such as friction (rubbing the skin), irritating chemicals or extreme cold or heat.
Blisters on the feet can result from shoes that are either too tight or rub the skin in one particular area.
Blisters also can be caused by contact dermatitis, a skin reaction to some type of chemical irritant. Intense cold can trigger frostbite, which often leads to blisters once the skin is rewired. Any type of burn, even sunburn, also can cause blisters.

  • Allergies

Allergic contact dermatitis, a form of dermatitis or eczema, may result in blisters on the hands. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergy to a chemical or poison, such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac.

  • Infections

Infections that cause blisters on hands include bullous impetigo, an infection of the skin caused by staphylococci (staph) bacteria; viral infections of the lips and genital area due to the herpes simplex virus (types 1 and 2); chickenpox and shingles, which are caused by the varicella zoster virus; and coxsackievirus infections, which are more common in childhood.

  • Skin diseases

Numerous skin diseases cause blisters. Examples include dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigoid and pemphigus. There also are inherited forms of blistering skin conditions, such as epidermolysis bullosa (in which pressure or trauma commonly leads to blisters on hands) and porphyria cutanea tarda (in which sun exposure provokes blisters).


This is a type of eczema, which is a skin condition, will frequently cause multiple blisters on hands that can cause pain and itch at the same time. When these blisters break open they can be prone to developing an infection.

Friction injuries

This is the most common cause and can occur because of any type of movement that is repetitive like sweeping the floors, shovelling snow, raking the leaves and digging.


This can come being in a fire, touching a hot object like frying pan or pot.
Some uncommon causes of blisters on hands can include:

Hand-foot-mouth disease

When having this medical condition you can develop small blisters with red borders and white centers that are painful on the palms of your hands.


This is a chronic skin condition that can cause itchy blisters on hands and the palms of your hands and the sides of your fingers that are normally red and scaly. They also ooze fluid.

Small Blister on Hands

Small blister on hands most of time is caused by insect bites or sting, Bugs that bite or sting in some people have a mild allergic reaction and a larger area of skin around the bite or sting becomes swollen, red and painful. … Occasionally, a severe allergic reaction can occur, causing symptoms such as blister on hands, breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth.
For example:

  • Spider bites, such as a bite from a brown recluse spider and some of its Symptoms include reddened skin followed by a blister that forms at the bite site, pain and itching, and an open sore with a breakdown of tissue (necrosis) that develops within a few hours to 3 to 4 days following the bite. This sore may take months to heal.

But occasionally these insect can become infectious, cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or spread serious illnesses such as Lyme disease and malaria.
  To help prevent insect bites and stings:
(a) – Use an insect repellent – those containing 50% DEET (diethyltoluamide) are most   effective
(b)- Cover exposed skin – especially at sunrise and sunset when insects are more active
(c)-  cover food and drink because the colors and smells attract insects

  • Pinching  the skin forcefully, like when a finger gets caught in a drawer. A small blister may form if tiny blood vessels are damaged.

What Causes Water Blister on your Hands

Water blisters are comprised of blood serum, minus the clotting agents and blood cells. When the body detects damage to the outer layer of the skin, it sends blood to the area in order to heal and cool the area.
Acting as a protective shield, the serum pads the wound and prevents further harm from taking place. These painful water filled bumps appear most frequently on the hands and feet, but can form anywhere.
Unlike blood blisters, the water variety appears as a bulbous pocket of water. Single blisters or clusters may appear wherever the body needs healing.
These pockets of serum come in different shapes, from round to oval. Small ones may look like clear pimples while large blisters can be the size of a nickel or quarter, depending on its cause.
There are several possible reasons that cause water blister to occur. The most common are as follows:

  • Friction

Partly, friction happens when the rough edges of one object snag on the rough edges of another object, and some of the objects’ energy has to be used to break off those rough edges so the objects can keep moving. And when you rub two soft things together, like your hands, sometimes they squish into each other and get in each other’s way and this may lead to water blister on hands.

  • Sunburn

Sunburn is the most obvious sign that you’ve been sitting outside for too long. But sun damage isn’t always visible. Under the surface, ultraviolet light can alter your DNA, prematurely aging your skin. Over time, DNA damage can contribute to blister on hands and skin cancers, including deadly melanoma.

  • Exposure to heat

Many people are exposed to heat on the job, outdoors or in hot indoor environments. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness including blister on hands.
Workplaces with these conditions may include iron and steel foundries, nonferrous foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products factories, electrical utilities (particularly boiler rooms), bakeries, confectioneries, commercial kitchens, laundries, food canneries, chemical plants, mining sites, smelters, and steam tunnels.

  • Electrical burns

When electricity passes from any source and into the body it can result in burns ranging from minor to extremely severe. The damage may be minor skin damage like blister on hands if touch or may cause damage to internal organs.

  • Chicken pox

Chickenpox (varicella) is a contagious illness that causes an itchy rash and red spots or blister on hands or all over the body. Chickenpox can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune systems problem that make it hard for the body to fight infection.

  • Herpes and cold sores

Cold sore sometimes called fever blisters are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skins around the blisters are often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 week

  • Contact dermatitis (poison ivy, chemicals, and other irritants)

Either way, your skin gets red and tender after you’ve touched something. It could be your immune system is involved. After you touch something, it mistakenly thinks caused by an, allergy or because the protective layer of your skin got damaged. If it’s an allergy your body is under attack. It springs into action, making antibodies to fight the invader.
A chain of events causes a release of chemicals, including histamine. That’s what causes the allergic reaction – in this case, an itchy rash and water blister on hands. It’s called allergic contact dermatitis.

When to Drain Water Blister

There are some occasions when it is appropriate to drain or pop a water blister. For instance, if the area is painful, causes extreme discomfort, or has begun to leak fluid, it may need to be drained.
In those rare instances, it is important to proceed with caution. Remove any clothing covering the water bumps.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water. This limits the chances of exposing the skin to infection.
  2. Immerse a needle in rubbing alcohol. It should be totally immersed to be completely sanitized.
  3. Dampen a washcloth, wring out excess water, and then squirt a dab of liquid soap on the cloth.
  4. Wipe the area with the soapy cloth to clean the surface of the skin.
  5. Using the needle, puncture the blister along the outer edge.
  6. Push out the fluid gently, guiding the serum out of the hole.
  7. Pat the blister with clean gauze, dabbing any excess water.
  8. Avoid tearing or pulling the skin flap away.
  9. Dab on an antibiotic cream containing polymixin B.
  10. Cover the broken blister with a gauze pad.

If you are unsure whether or not you should pop a blister, consult with a medical professional. They can determine the best course of action.

Diagnosis of Blister on Hands

If the cause of your blisters is not obvious, your doctor will ask about your family history and your personal medical history, including any allergies you have and any medications you take, including over-the-counter medications. You also will be asked about any recent exposure to irritating chemicals or allergens.
Your doctor often can diagnose the cause of your blisters by their appearance and your history. If your doctor suspects an allergic reaction, he or she may recommend patch tests with chemicals to identify the allergen. Some blistering diseases are diagnosed with a skin biopsy, in which a small piece of tissue is removed and examined in a laboratory.

Blisters on Hands Treatment

What treatment should be used depends on what causes your blisters on hands. If you have certain medical condition like diabetes, you should let your physician check it out to make sure that there are no complications from the blisters.
One thing that you should not do is pop a blister because that could cause an infection. When you pop a blister the lower layers of your skin are exposed to the elements having an infection most likely to develop.
Popping a blister does not make it heal faster. If the blister does need to be popped it should be done by your physician under conditions that are sterile in order to prevent an infection from setting in.
The best treatment for blisters on hands is to leave them alone and do nothing and try to not put any pressure on the blisters while it is healing naturally.
You should keep it wrapped to help protect the blisters on hands from accidentally being popped and if they are popped the bandage or gauze you have wrapped around it will help to prevent something from getting into the opened blister.
If the blisters on hands were caused by any of these you can treat them by:

Friction Blisters on Hands

You should cover it with a piece of gauze or bandage and let it heal naturally

Dyshidrosis blisters on hands

You should apply an antibiotic ointment to the open blisters and cover with gauze or bandage. This type of blister is hard to self-treat so you should contact a dermatologist to make an accurate diagnosis of whether it is or is not Dyshidrosis.

Blisters from burns

Gently wash the blisters on hands with hydrogen peroxide or sterilized water and pat the area dry with done. Make sure that you avoid rubbing the area. You should then cover it very loosely with a piece of sterile gauze or bandage so bacteria cannot enter the blister. Depending on the degree of the burn you may want to see your physician for further treatment.

Hand-foot-mouth disease

There is no specific treatment for these blisters and normally the infection that is causing these blisters of hands will resolve itself within a week or less.


To help these blisters on hands heal you should use compresses that have been soaked in Burrow’s solution or potassium permanganate. You can also use topical steroids to help decrease the itching and inflammation. When you see your physician or dermatologist they may give you antibiotics or use light therapy on the blisters to help them heal and to help prevent infections.
If the blisters on hands have not healed within four days you should see your physician because sometimes blisters on hands can be an indication of other illnesses and diseases like chicken pox, eczema, and herpes.

Blister on Hands Prevention

There are many simple strategies to prevent blisters caused by skin irritation. You can wear comfortable shoes that fit well, with socks that cushion the feet and absorb sweat. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn.
Be particularly vigilant about avoiding sun exposure if you are taking medications that are known to cause sun sensitivity, such as doxycycline (sold under many brand names). During cold months, use mittens, hats and heavy socks to protect your skin against freezing temperatures and chilling winds.
As much as possible, avoid irritants and allergens that tend to trigger eczema, such as certain hygiene products (bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays, detergents), certain metals in jewellery, especially nickel, and irritating plants such as poison ivy.
To prevent blisters caused by infections, wash your hands often and never touch skin sores, cuts or any open or broken areas of skin on other people. To reduce the risk of herpes simplex, never have sex (even with a condom) with someone with active herpes. In addition, the fewer sexual partners you have, the lower your risk of herpes simplex.
To avoid the spread of childhood infections, try to prevent children from sharing toys and utensils that have touched another child’s mouth.
To prevent chickenpox and to help prevent shingles later, have your child immunized with the varicella vaccine. People who have not had chickenpox should avoid people with chickenpox or shingles until all of the blisters have crusted over.
Adults can be vaccinated if they have never had chickenpox, especially if they are at risk of exposure (for example, day-care workers and teachers).
There is no known way to prevent many of the blistering diseases such as the hereditary forms and the autoimmune (bullous) diseases.