Tiny mystery blisters on my upper body!
June 25, 2011 4:18 AM   Subscribe

You are not my doctor, but I'm getting tiny mystery blisters on my skin, and I'm a lot more curious than I am concerned.

Over the past couple of months I've been noticing that every now and again, I get tiny (1mm across) blisters on my arms and upper body. I say blisters because they look to be pieces of my outer layer of skin that have trapped a tiny bit of clear liquid (probably water, clear with no smell). They seem to crop up in batches, probably 10-30 in one general area (upper chest, lower arm, upper arm, etc).

They are unlike any blister I've ever had (those resulted from burns or friction), as they are completely painless and whether I pop them or not, they disappear/heal within a few hours. The area around them is completely unchanged, they just look like tiny sacs of liquid on my arm and are almost unnoticeable unless I expressly look for them

Some background: Male, 33 years old. Over the past half year I've been losing weight. It's almost all diet, but I do a fair amount of low-impact exercise (walking and biking). Because of the weight loss, I drink a lot of water. Oh, and this might be relevant: I do have problems with dry skin.

I have tried googling and such, but there's only so much my stomach can take. Thanks for any help you might have!
posted by jedrek to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds kinda like this rash my husband got, Molluscum Contagiosum They were just tiny blister like things that were most clear, not really red. I think he went to a dermatologist and they gave him a cream or froze them (I can't remember) and they went away. They are contagious, and you can give them back to yourself, so every time they went away, he end up getting them back.
posted by katers890 at 6:11 AM on June 25, 2011

I don't know the real name, but I've gotten something similar from getting sweaty and having (even slightly) sunburned skin. I have no idea what the remedy is, other than not sweating, but it's only happened to me a few times.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:38 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are they itchy? It could be pompholyx eczema. The pictures on google images are much worse than anything I get. It kinda looks like the bubbles you would see on the inside of a glass of soda, except under your skin.
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 6:57 AM on June 25, 2011

There's actually a type of moth here in Japan (I don't know if it lives in other regions of the world) whose powdery scales will cause blisters wherever it comes in contact with human skin. If that moth lands on or brushes against you as you sleep, there are usually 10-15 blisters in the area in the morning...

a friend just posted photos of her arm on her facebook...she has the blisters right now and she's been given a medication to draw the irritant (whatever is in that wing dust) out of the blisters.

maybe worth having a dermatologist take a look, just in case?
posted by squasha at 7:00 AM on June 25, 2011

Could it be prickly heat? If so, they would pop up after a sweaty workout. I've had the same problem, it's weird but they disappear pretty quickly.
posted by cabingirl at 7:07 AM on June 25, 2011

Since the wikipedia page isn't too specific, I should have added that the crystalline version will manifest with no redness or itching. It just looks like tiny clear bumps.
posted by cabingirl at 7:09 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another idea- I have problems eating gluten, when I eat it I get little bubbles like you describe. I found they were caused by a food allergy.
posted by ibakecake at 9:53 AM on June 25, 2011

I thought it was molluscum originally as well, but those don't just spontaneously disappear. I'm pretty sure it's not molluscum.
posted by k8lin at 10:14 AM on June 25, 2011

I get these on my fingers, particularly when my hands have been sweating. They go away in a day or two. They don't seem contagious and seem to be brought on by local moisture/heat more than anything. Just another oddity of the human body, I think.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2011

Yup, prickly heat/miliaria. I get them when walking around outside if it's a hot day and I'm sweating and I've put on sunscreen, or when I'm working out. It's basically sweat trapped beneath your skin, and cloth touching your skin or things like sunscreen that block it up a bit tend to cause it. Little tiny bumps that look like little drops of water on your skin.

Totally harmless.
posted by telophase at 4:25 PM on June 25, 2011

I get these on my chest also. I live where it is very hot, and I believe it is just a blocked sweat pore. They are totally painless, and go away if I brush my hand over the area. Prickly heat, as others have mentioned, makes total sense, though it is not uncomfortable at all.
posted by LyndsayMW at 8:52 PM on June 25, 2011

This kind of sounds like the ask.me question I posed last year. I didn't figure it out and I still occasionally get it, only mine are on my hands (and rarely, feet).
posted by Heretical at 12:02 AM on June 26, 2011

« Older Is there a name for this design style?   |   Bare minimum tablet needed. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.