Itchy bumps filled with clear liquid may be blisters. Blisters have many possible causes, such as an injury, eczema, allergies, infections, and more. Treatment may depend on the cause, and home remedies may help.

A blister is a raised part of the skin that fills with clear fluid. Blisters usually develop to protect injured skin and help it heal.

Blisters have several potential causes, including skin friction, viral infections, and exposure to certain chemicals.

This article discusses the causes of itchy, clear fluid-filled bumps. It also examines the associated symptoms and treatments and explains when to contact a doctor.

Itchy bumps containing clear liquid are typically blisters. They may develop on areas of the body where rubbing or friction typically occurs, such as the hands or feet.

The fluid in blisters may contain serum, plasma, or pus. If there is an infection, it may also include blood.

Blisters may be:

  • bubbly and a different color than the surrounding skin
  • skin colored
  • itchy
  • painful

Scratching or picking at blisters could rupture the protective covering over the damaged skin, leading to discomfort or infection. If the blister stays intact, the skin underneath may heal more quickly.

Depending on the cause of the bumps, other symptoms may occur alongside them, such as fever.

Some blisters are painful, and they can be itchy. Although most blisters heal without treatment, severe blisters may take longer to heal or require treatment.

A person should avoid popping blisters, which can increase the chance of infection. Covering the blister with a Band-Aid can provide additional protection while it heals.

The skin may develop itchy fluid-filled bumps as a result of several issues, including those below:


Blisters can develop as a result of skin injuries, including:

  • friction or rubbing
  • exposure to certain chemicals, such as cosmetics or detergents
  • crushing or pinching
  • extremely high or low temperatures that cause burns or frostbite


Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that commonly affects children. There are many types of eczema, some of which cause blisters.

For example, dyshidrotic eczema produces small itchy blisters on the hands and feet. The blisters typically occur on the:

  • palms of the hands
  • sides of the fingers
  • soles of the feet
  • edges of the feet

There is often intense itching and a burning sensation in the affected area, and the skin may appear red or discolored and crack around the blisters. Sometimes, the blisters can become infected.

Regularly cleaning the affected area can help a person reduce the likelihood of infection and help improve symptoms.

Doctors may suggest topical corticosteroids to treat the blisters.

A person may be able to reduce the likelihood of blisters by avoiding known triggers for eczema flare-ups, such as cosmetic products or metals, and regularly applying moisturizer. They may also find it helpful to minimize the time they spend with their hands in the water — for example, by wearing gloves for washing dishes or cleaning.


Certain infections can cause blisters to develop on the skin. These infections include:

Other symptoms may also occur alongside the blisters, depending on the infection.

For example, impetigo is a bacterial infection that initially causes itchy sores. Crusty yellow scabs may develop over the sores and leak pus or fluids.

Some forms of herpes affect the genitals, leading to the formation of blisters around the genitals and anus. The blisters can cause itching, tingling, or burning sensations.

Shingles is a rash that typically affects one side of the body. The rash can be painful and itchy. Shingles can also cause fever, headaches, and chills.

Treatments for infections that cause blisters will vary depending on the type of infection. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, such as impetigo. For viral infections, such as shingles, doctors may suggest antiviral medications in more severe cases.

Some common antiviral medications include:

  • acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • famciclovir (Famvir)
  • valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Vaccinations are an effective way of preventing many viruses.


Allergies can irritate the skin. For example, contact dermatitis is a skin reaction to an irritant or allergen. Substances that may cause skin reactions in some people include cosmetic products and laundry detergents.

Allergies can also cause hives to break out. Hives refers to bumps or welts that develop anywhere on the skin. They can cause the skin to become hot and swollen.

People can help prevent skin allergies by avoiding triggers. Common triggers for skin allergies include:

  • cosmetics
  • metals such as nickel and cobalt
  • latex and other rubbers
  • epoxy resin adhesives and other strong glues
  • dyes and resins in textiles
  • certain plants, including:
    • sunflowers
    • tulips
    • daffodils
    • chrysanthemums

Some medications, such as antihistamines, can help treat symptoms of allergies.

Bullous pemphigoid

Bullous pemphigoid is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes blisters, hives, and itching on the skin. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system is overactive and mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

If a person has bullous pemphigoid, blisters and hives may develop on the:

  • arms
  • legs
  • abdomen
  • groin

The blisters may contain clear or bloody fluids.

Doctors usually use anti-inflammatory medications, such as topical corticosteroids, to treat bullous pemphigoid blisters. In severe cases, doctors may use medications that suppress the immune system.

A doctor may be able to determine the cause of itchy fluid-filled bumps by examining them and checking for distinctive features of each cause. They might also ask about fever and other symptoms.

The doctor may order allergy testing or other tests to determine an underlying allergy or infection. They will be able to provide more information about any tests they order and advise on suitable treatments following diagnosis.

While medical treatments for blisters can depend on the underlying cause, some home remedies may help a person alleviate symptoms of blisters.

Possible home remedies include:

  • keeping the blisters covered with a bandage to prevent further damage to the area
  • using padding to protect blisters that develop in pressure areas, such as on the bottoms of the feet
  • regularly washing the area with soap and water to keep it clean
  • applying petroleum jelly to avoid friction

Over-the-counter anti-itch products may also help. These can include products containing ingredients such as:

  • aloe
  • mineral oil
  • petrolatum
  • glycerin

Learn more about home remedies for blisters.

Depending on the underlying cause, it may be possible to prevent blisters. Steps a person can take include:

  • wearing shoes and clothing that fit properly
  • wearing moisture wicking socks during exercise
  • wearing gloves when working with the hands
  • covering areas of friction with bandages or padding
  • identifying and avoiding potential triggers
  • discussing relevant vaccinations with their doctor

A person’s doctor can advise on more ways they can reduce the risk of blisters.

Most blisters heal without medical treatment, but some causes of blisters may require medical assistance. For example, a person should see a doctor for frostbite or moderate-to-severe burns. Some infections, such as shingles, may also require medical treatment.

Doctors can also help identify allergy triggers by using a skin prick test to check for common allergies.

Itchy fluid-filled bumps are usually blisters. Blisters have various possible causes, including injuries, infections, and other medical conditions. Some blisters may occur alongside other symptoms, such as fever.

It may be possible to prevent some blisters by avoiding skin friction, contact with irritants, or allergy triggers.

Most blisters tend to go away without treatment. However, people may need treatment from a doctor for an injury, infection, allergy, or skin condition.

Home remedies are available to help a person ease itching, pain, and discomfort as the blisters heal.