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Vesicles

  • Definition
    • A vesicle is a small fluid-filled blister on the skin.

  • Alternative Names
    • Blisters

  • Considerations
    • A vesicle is small. It may be as tiny as the top of a pin or up to 5 millimeters wide. A larger blister is called a bulla.

      In many cases, vesicles break easily and release their fluid onto the skin. When this fluid dries, yellow crusts may remain on the skin surface.

  • Causes
  • Home Care
    • It is best to have your health care provider examine any skin rashes, including vesicles.

      Over-the-counter treatments are available for certain conditions that cause vesicles, including poison ivy and cold sores.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your provider if you have any unexplained blisters on your skin.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • Your provider will look at your skin. Some vesicles can be diagnosed simply by how they look.

      In many cases, additional tests are needed. The fluid inside a blister may be sent to a lab for closer examination. In particularly difficult cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to make or confirm a diagnosis.

      Treatment will depend on the cause of the vesicles.

  • References
    • Marks JG, Miller JJ. Vesicles and bullae. In: Marks JG, Miller JJ. Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 10.