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What causes painful blisters on the body?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
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Hi XXXXXXX , My friend has something that looks like blisters but they are not she can't even touch anything because it really hurts, can you help her
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 44 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Skin lesions that look like blisters are usually caused by viruses in the herpes family. If the lesions are around the mouth, most commonly they are caused by the herpes simplex virus which can cause cold sores. If they are in a patch on another part of the body, it can be shingles, which is reactivation of the chicken pox virus - herpes varicella zoster.

Herpes virus lesions typically are very painful to touch.

If it is shingles, the sooner she gets the diagnosis confirmed and starts on an antiviral medication, such as acyclovir or valcyclovir, the better. Starting an antiviral early will not cure them but can prevent post-herpetic neuralgia which is a continued, painful problem that can happen even after the lesions go away. It's best to get on an antiviral immediately. The antiviral will also lessen the pain a bit, but the doctor would give a potent pain medication too.

If she goes to an urgent care clinic, she should request to see a doctor as many are staffed by physicians assistants and nurse practitioners who may not have the knowledge to make the diagnosis.

To comment more specifically, I would have to see the lesions with good quality photos, which you can upload here (use "upload reports" button). Close up and a bit farther away - 3 photos, no flash but good lighting.

I hope this information helps.
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD

Note to all patients: Please know that if you ask for a refund, which some patients do to "play the system", the refund comes entirely from what I am paid. The company does not lose a XXXXXXX I do my best to answer as thoroughly and conscientiously as possible to help you, and I hope you will honor my time and knowledge by not requesting a refund.

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