Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: Allergies | blisters | skin | hibberd | back | arms | legs

What's Causing My Skin to Blister?

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 09:09 AM

Question: I have been getting a rash of blisters on my back, arms, and legs, but topical treatments don’t seem to help. What can be causing this? 

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

Blisters on your back, arms, and legs probably warrant a physical evaluation by your physician. The absence of them on your chest, abdomen, or face is a clue. Presuming you lay on your back to sleep, you might consider whether you may be reacting to your bed sheets.

"Sheetitis" is common in hospitalized patients from the starch in the sheets. It
's also possible you’re having a reaction to your laundry detergent or fabric softener. Wash your sheets with Neutrogena instead of your regular detergent and fabric softener, and see your doctor in the meantime for an evaluation.

He or she can determine whether a topical cortisone cream is advisable or whether further evaluation or even a skin biopsy is advisable.

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