Vesicular skin lesions


Appropriate Tests


Vesicle fluid for microscopy and bacterial culture, virus culture, detection (NAA), if infection is a suspected cause.
Scraping of vesicle base for virus culture, detection.

Biopsy may be indicated.

Viral infections, especially

  • Herpes simplex
  • Varicella zoster
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease
  • Molluscum contagiosum


Clinical diagnosis, testing not required.

Bacterial infection, especially

  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Clostridium perfringens

Vesicles are usually a skin manifestation of severe underlying sepsis with septicaemia. Blood culture.



Trauma, especially

  • Burns
  • Chemical damage


Adverse/fixed drug reactions, especially

  • Tetracycline
  • Cotrimoxazole
  • Topical applications


Dermatitis herpetiformis

See under Coeliac disease



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