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Lesions and Blisters on Face: Signs of Allergic Contact Dermatitis or Herpes?

Updated on October 6, 2016

Herpes Sores

Blisters and lesions may sometimes appear on the skin and people who have them may wonder whether they are caused by allergic contact dermatitis or herpes.

A blister is a fluid filled bubble that is directly under the skin. It can be caused by friction and burns. For example, when something rubs the skin a blister may develop.

People also get blisters on the face and hands after using certain chemicals. Even frostbite, followed by warm temperatures, can cause blisters.

Herpes Labialis


Blisters May be Due to Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis can cause blisters. For example, if someone goes outdoors and comes in contact with poison ivy, their skin can become irritated by chemicals in the plant and they might develop blisters as a result.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

These round, oval bubbles are generally painful. They are sometimes itchy, especially when they are caused by a plant or some irritating chemical. Blisters that are due to eczema usually look red and the skin around them is red as well.

Irritant & Allergic Contact Reactions

Michaderm Eczema Flare Defense Calming Cream, for Baby Eczema, Baby Itchy Rashes, Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Dry, Scaly, Cracked Skin, 100% Steroid Free, Natu

"My kid was scratching hard and started bleeding. After I applied the Michaderm eczema flare defense calming cream to his back and legs at night, he had a good sleep."

"My husband has had eczema on his scalp for years. When it acts up, he experiences lots of itching, flaking and redness. The Flare Defense Cream immediately stopped the eczema itching and has since helped a great deal with the redness and flaking."

Inflammation and Flaking Rash on a Young Woman's Cheek; Allergic Reaction to Antibiotic Pills.

Inflammation and flaking rash on a young woman's cheek; allergic reaction to antibiotic pills.
Inflammation and flaking rash on a young woman's cheek; allergic reaction to antibiotic pills. | Source

Blisters May be Due to Herpes Simplex Virus

Some people have breakouts every now and again due to the herpes simplex virus (Type 1).

These breakouts result in blisters on their skin and may occur when a person is nutrient deficient or under lots of stress. These blisters are known as cold sores or night fever.

A doctor can accurately distinguish between blisters that are caused by allergic contact dermatitis and blisters that are due to herpes. Blisters that are caused by the herpes simplex virus usually appear around the mouth or directly in the lips.

What's a Cold Sore? (Beauty & Grooming Guru)

These blisters are itchy. Before the blisters appear, the skin that is affected may itch and become red. Persons who are about to develop blisters may also notice swelling before they appear.

Blisters of this nature usually burst and when they do, they are sore and painful. Some people have herpes simplex type 2. This is the virus that causes genital herpes and is different from the virus that causes cold sores on the mouth.


Bactine Original First Aid Spray, 5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)- Customer Reviews

"Both my wife and I have used Bactine for our last couple of outbreaks, and we believe we have found the next-best thing to a cure. At first tingle, we saturate a q-tip with Bactine and rub the spot firmly for about 2 minutes. Repeat 4-6 times the first day. We find that the growth stops quickly, and the remaining (tiny) sore heals in a couple of days."

Diet Changes to Reduce the LifeSpan of a Cold Sore Outbreak

While many people have the virus that causes blisters on the lips, a smaller percentage of the population has herpes simplex type 2. This also causes blisters but those appear on the genital area.

Blisters may also be seen on the upper thighs, buttocks and anus. A physician will ask about your medical history, chemicals you have used in order to determine whether lesions and blisters on the face are signs of allergic contact dermatitis or herpes.

Abreva Abreva Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment - Customer Reviews

"The key to using ABREVA is to get it on the site of the embryonic blemish as soon as you can, and ideally when you first feel that special tingle that screams, "You'd be better off with leprosy!"

"Works very well but you need to start using it before you have a blister. If you get to it after the blister forms then it simply speeds up the recover time."


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    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      I'm glad that the medication helped. Thanks for sharing that Moonlake.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Great information. I suffered with cold sores in winter months. My doctor gave me pills to take for 5 days I don't remember the name. I have not had large cold sores after taking those pills. A cold sore will start and suddenly just disappear. Voted up on your hub.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 4 years ago

      Thank you :-)

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Very interesting information! Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 4 years ago

      You're welcome CyberShelley

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Ouch, Thanks for the useful information - thankfully I've not had any of these but have seen others with coldsores, etc.