Definition of Bulla

bulla blisterBulla is a large (5 millimeters or greater) blisterlike formation, raised and fluid filled, that may hurt or itch. Infection, contact irritants, immune response, and systemic health conditions may cause bullae.

Bullous dermatitis may result from contact with plants such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac. To determine the cause of bullous eruptions, the doctor may biopsy a bulla (remove a small section for examination under the microscope) or perform tests to look for immune proteins.

Tense bullae form in the deeper layers and are less likely to rupture. Flaccid or loose bullae form in the superficial layers of the skin and are fragile, making them more likely to tear.

Treatment

Treatment generally is twofold, targeting the underlying cause as well as aiming to relieve symptoms such as itching and the bullous swellings. Topical corticosteroid medications often help the symptoms and sometimes the underlying cause when it is an immune response or autoimmune disorder.

Antibiotic medications, often both topical and oral, are necessary to treat bullae that arise from bacterial infection or that become infected. Healed bullae may leave indentations or scars, especially if they were infected.

Health Conditions Associated with Skin Bulla

Health Conditions Associated with Skin Bulla
adverse drug reactionBULLOUS PEMPHIGOID
contact dermatitisdermatitis herpetiformis
DIABETESemphysema
hereditary autoimmune disordersIMPETIGO
STAPHYLOCOCCAL SCALDED SKIN SYNDROMEPEMPHIGUS
TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSISwarfarin reaction

See also BLISTERCALLUSCELLULITISICHTHYOSISPAPULEURTICARIAVESICLE.

How did you like this article?

Page last reviewed:

About Us