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Vesicles

Definition

A vesicle is a small fluid-filled blister.

See also: Bulla

Alternative Names

Blisters

Considerations

A vesicle is small -- it may be as tiny as the top of a pin or up to 5 or 10 millimeters wide.

In many cases, vesicles break easily and release their fluid onto the skin. When this fluid dries, yellow crusts may remain on the skin surface.

Common Causes

Many diseases and conditions can cause vesicles. Some common examples include:

Home Care

As a general rule, your doctor should examine any skin rashes, including vesicles.

Over-the-counter treatments are available for certain conditions that cause vesicles, including poison ivy and cold sores.

Call your health care provider if

Call your doctor if you have any unexplained blisters on your skin.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

Your doctor will look at your skin. Some vesicules can be diagnosed simply by how they look.

In many cases, however, additional tests are needed. The fluid inside a blister may be sent to a lab for closer examination. In particularly difficult cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to make or confirm a diagnosis.

Prevention

References

Armstrong CA. Examination of the skin and approach to diagnosing skin diseases. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 462.

Rapini RP. Clinical and pathologic differential diagnosis. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP, eds. . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:vol 1.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.