Vesicular skin lesions

Last updated: Thursday, 17, February, 2011
CausesAppropriate Tests


Vesicle fluid for microscopy and bacterial culture, virus culture, detection, if infection is a suspected cause.
Scraping of vesicle base for virus culture, detection.

Biopsy may be indicated.

Viral infections, especially



Clinical diagnosis, testing not required.

Bacterial infection, especially

  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Clostridium perfringens


Vesicles are usually a skin manifestation of severe underlying sepsis with septicaemia. Blood culture.


Trauma, especially

Adverse/fixed drug reactions, especially

  • Tetracycline
  • Cotrimoxazole
  • Topical applications

Dermatitis herpetiformis

See under Coeliac disease