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Blisters, small fluid-filled circular shaped bumps, occur as part of many childhood diseases. Most are self-limited and have no long term affects, but can make children uncomfortable. Many occur as part of systemic illnesses that also cause fever and malaise. Preventing secondary infection is important in blistering illnesses, especially if the blisters itch.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Chicken pox, caused by the varicella zoster virus, is now preventable by vaccination. Chicken pox normally starts with fever, tiredness and the appearance of small blisters that occur in crops. The blisters break and crust over. The rash itches; calamine lotion, baking soda baths and antihistamines help reduce itching. Acetaminophen or children’s ibuprofen can control fever. Aspirin should not be given, due to the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
- Chicken pox, caused by the varicella zoster virus, is now preventable by vaccination.
- Chicken pox normally starts with fever, tiredness and the appearance of small blisters that occur in crops.
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Herpangina in Adults
Lesions may also appear on the buttocks and genitalia. The rash is not itchy and may cause mouth pain. Several different enteroviruses can cause hand, foot and mouth disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is spread by direct contact and has an incubation period of around a week. Treatment consists of pain relievers to reduce mouth discomfort and fluids to maintain adequate hydration.
- Lesions may also appear on the buttocks and genitalia.
- The rash is not itchy and may cause mouth pain.
Herpangina, which usually affects young children, causes mouth blisters ringed by red circles on the tongue, throat, lips, tonsils or other parts of the mouth, pediatrician and columnist Dr. Alan Greene reports on his website 3.cause:
- which usually affects young children
- causes mouth blisters ringed by red circles on the tongue
- tonsils or other parts of the mouth
- columnist Dr
Alan Greene reports on his website 3. High fever, loss of appetite and fatigue accompany blister formation. Headaches, runny nose and drooling may also occur. Symptoms last three to six days and start four to six days after exposure. Reducing pain and maintaining hydration are the most important treatments for herpangina 3. Various enteroviruses cause herpangina 3.
Causes of Tongue Blisters
Impetigo, a skin infection, often occurs on the face. Blisters that break and turn into yellow crusted sores surrounded by a red base characterize impetigo, which is caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria and spreads by direct contact or via hand contact. Impetigo requires antibiotic treatment and remains contagious for around 24 hours after the start of treatment, according to the British Columbia Ministry of Health 1.
Herpangina in Adults
Causes of Tongue Blisters
Causes of a Skin Rash on Hands and Feet
Examples of Communicable Diseases
Mouth Sores, Fevers and Blisters in Children
First Symptoms of Measles in Toddlers
Viruses That Cause Skin Rashes
How to Diagnose Fifth Disease Vs. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Symptoms of Infantigo
Diseases and Disorders of the Tongue
- British Columbia Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors: A Quick Guide to Common Childhood Diseases
- DrGreene.com: Herpes Simplex
- DrGreene.com: Herpangina
- Yao X, Bian LL, Lu WW, et al. Epidemiological and etiological characteristics of herpangina and hand foot mouth diseases in Jiangsu, China, 2013-2014. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017;13(4):823-830. doi:10.1080/21645515.2016.1236879
- Repass GL, Palmer WC, Stancampiano FF. Hand, foot, and mouth disease: identifying and managing an acute viral syndrome. Cleve Clin J Med. 2014;81(9):537-543. doi:10.3949/ccjm.81a.13132
- Pillai AS, Medina D. Rash in an Eight-Year-Old Boy. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(12):1141-1142.
- EnteroVirus Foundation. Enterovirus Infection: The Symptoms & Signs.
- Scully C, Shotts R. Mouth ulcers and other causes of orofacial soreness and pain. West J Med. 2001;174(6):421-424.
- Zaoutis T, Klein JD. Enterovirus Infections. Pediatrics in Review. 1998;19(6):183-191.
- Abzug, MJ. (2016). Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Elsevier. 1561-1568e1.
- Fort, GG. (2017). Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017: Herpangina. Elsevier. 583.
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.