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Skin Care and Diseases

Recurring Blisters

08/18/1999

Question:

Every so often, my LEFT foot will break out with blisters. The blisters will appear on various parts of the foot, - sole, close to toes, sides, etc. They will break, run, and dry up. The skin peels off and new skin grows back. Again, only on my left foot and the right is never involved. Periodically, I will also get very small blisters on my left hand. They too will break and dry up, although the hand does not get this condition as often as my left foot. I know this is very strange, but only the left foot and the left hand is involved. Have any idea what is causing this?? Thank you for any information you are able to render. I might add that these foot blisters do not look like or act like athletes foot. There really is no itching involved, and some of the blisters get very large and are very painful until they break.

Answer:

The description of your skin condition is very thorough. Blisters can form as a result of irritation or repeated mechanical trauma, as occurs with rubbing of the skin. Skin that becomes wet and is rubbed frequently is susceptible to blistering. Is it possible that your feet are slightly different is size and your left shoe fits more tightly, causing increased perspiration (wetness) and rubbing? The cycle of breaking, running and drying up is typical. The skin peels off as new layers of skin form underneath. You indicate that the condition does not appear to be athlete`s foot. However, this condition can vary from time to time or person to person. There could be some type of infection. You might try using powder in your shoes to keep your feet dry to see if this provides any help in terms of keeping the blisters from forming. Check to see what makes the condition better or worse for some clues. If the problem persists, I would recommend an evaluation by your health provider.

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Response by:

Marty O Visscher, PhD Marty O Visscher, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati