Bug bite or something else?
July 14, 2014 6:34 PM   Subscribe

YANMD, but I noticed right after dinner (around 7pm) that I had a small grouping of blisters on my hand. On the way out of the restaurant, I then noticed that the muscles under the blisters are twitching, causing my thumb to move slightly. Is this a bug bite or something else?

pic of hand with blisters

I was going to go to an Urgi-med, but they all close at 8pm. It's been about two hours since I first noticed this, and the blisters/redness hasn't gotten any bigger or spread anywhere else, but the muscle spasms are still coming and going. The hand feels slightly numb, but not sure if that is just psychosomatic.

Google gives me everything from Lyme disease to Tourette's, and while I am in brown recluse territory (South Florida), I don't recall being bit by anything and muscle twitches don't appear to be in the list of symptoms of a spider bite. The area feels a bit tight, achy, and slightly itchy to the elbow (again not really bad, so I'm not sure if it's my mind) but there is no significant pain.

The only thing I've done so far is look on google (fruitless) and wash my hands really well.

I owe the ER 1,100 for a moth getting stuck in my ear around Christmas, so I don't want to go unless I'm probably going to die tonight in my sleep.
posted by Debaser626 to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Swab with rubbing alcohol and keep an eye on it. It looks like skin doing what skin does, protecting from an irritant. I am not a doctor and this sure isn't medical advice.
posted by vrakatar at 6:41 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well with all the caveats about diagnosing via a photo on the internet, and I am not a doctor, of course ... what immediately comes to mind off the top of my head is maybe possibly the start of hives, or maybe the start of shingles, though it also looks like the bumpy rash I get from eczema sometimes as well. I was thinking possibly hives because you started having symptoms right after you ate. You might try taking something like Benadryl in case it is some kind of allergic/hives thing. Swabbing with rubbing alcohol is usually a good safe thing to do as a general policy.

Have you ever had chicken pox? If so, possibly this could be the start of shingles (the muscle twitching is what made me think of shingles). Here is a little slideshow on whether someone might have shingles or something else, that includes pictures of hives, eczema, etc..
posted by gudrun at 7:08 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it were me and it was my non dominant hand, I would clean it off and wait and see what is going on in the morning.
posted by 724A at 7:48 PM on July 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Is there any chance you've come in contact with poison ivy? Mind you that it can sometimes take a day or two for the blisters to pop up. I don't know about the twitching, but that's what the blisters look like to me.
posted by drlith at 7:51 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have very sensitive skin and get blistery skin from a range of things...Elastoplast, Mosquitos, heat. I have cortisone cream and antihistamines at the ready. Can you purchase some non-prescription cortisone? And ask the chemist for their opinion?
posted by jojobobo at 8:02 PM on July 14, 2014

Yeah, I would try Benadryl or another antihistamine (topical and/or oral) and maybe try a cold compress/ice pack on the site.
posted by freejinn at 8:05 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

In addition to poison ivy, that also looks like mild/beginnings of poison oak or wild parsnip.
Yeah - take some Benadryl and keep it clean (so it doesn't get infected). Do not pop the bubble.

Keep your hands washed - many of the poisonous plant options are oil based, and you can absolutely give it to yourself and spread it. Poison oak is nortoriously bad like this.

I've had stinging nettle (accidentally brushed by and got a palm full). I don't remember if it blistered/rashed like that but I do 100% remember the tingling/numb feeling crawling up my arm via my nerve endings. It was immediate, very unpleasant, and lasted maybe an hour or so.... so I guess my point is that yeah, poisonous plants that you're allergic to can do some weird stuff. People are often allergic to varying degrees. I'm not allergic to poison oak at all, but I am the parsnip (had that too!). That could be something you were barely exposed but highly allergic to, or had lots of exposure to but are essentially not allergic. The parsnip, FWIW is solar activated - I kid you not. So weird.

I am definitely not a doctor. (Um, former camp counselor...)
posted by jrobin276 at 8:11 PM on July 14, 2014

Seconding poison ivy or poison oak. I got it for the first time in my life recently, and it looked pretty much exactly like that (although it did continue to spread for a few days). Thought at first it was shingles but the nurse took one look and said it was poison oak. Doctor concurred.
posted by bricoleur at 8:11 PM on July 14, 2014

Oh, and DO NOT google for images of poison oak blisters unless you aren't remotely squeamish.
posted by bricoleur at 8:12 PM on July 14, 2014

Yeah, don't google wild parsnip images either.
Trust me that when I had a tiny bit on my ankle it looked just like your hand!
posted by jrobin276 at 8:14 PM on July 14, 2014

The common theme here seems to be it looks like some sort of contact dermatitis--antihistamines could help if some kind of allergy, but could also be some other irritant. As for the twitching--well, I wouldn't worry about it unless it is like convulsion level twitching. I tend to get a little twitchy if I am itchy as well, especially if trying not to scratch.
posted by freejinn at 8:20 PM on July 14, 2014

What did you eat for dinner? It could also be a food allergy.
posted by FreezBoy at 3:16 AM on July 15, 2014

Came in late to say could it be mango dermatitis? I had a poison ivy like rash in Hawaii and that's what we thought it was.
posted by mgrrl at 4:14 PM on July 18, 2014

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