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What Can Cause Stomach Blisters?

By Drue Tibbits
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Blisters are pockets of fluid trapped between layers of the skin, and they usually contain serum produced by the body as a defense mechanism. There is a wide variety of known causes for stomach blisters, but some arise from indeterminate causes. They can develop as a result of irritation, infection, or allergies. Biting insects such as spiders can inject toxins that cause blisters too.

Blisters can develop around the stomach because of friction between folds of skin. Warm environments compound this form of skin irritation, as does obesity and tight-fitting clothes. Chemical irritants, such as laundry detergents or solvents, can cause blisters as well, as can compounds present in newly purchased clothes.

Viral infections can cause blisters to develop on the stomach. The signature feature of chicken pox, a viral infection most often affecting children, is itchy, red blisters that can develop anywhere on the body, including the stomach. The same virus causes shingles, but it only affects adults who have previously had the childhood version. Blisters from shingles usually develop on only one side of the body, with the blisters following nerve pathways.

Allergic contact dermatitis causes, among other symptoms, blisters at the point of allergen contact. Nickel is a common allergen, and belt buckles and zippers are often made of this metal. Blisters can develop where they touch the skin of sensitive individuals. Different from allergic contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction, and blisters on the stomach can occur as a result of allergies to things such as latex, medication, or perfumes.

Miliaria, also called prickly heat, is a condition where the sweat glands become clogged and do not function properly. This causes small, water-filled blisters to develop on the skin of the stomach or elsewhere. Sometimes, bumps on the skin are not blisters but are actually a rash. A rash is a red, inflamed area of the skin with solid bumps. Scabies is a skin condition caused by contact with mites; the mites leave a rash as they burrow and infest the skin.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of stomach blisters as they may not show up for days after exposure to the causative factor. Most are not cause for concern, but they may signal a more serious condition if they appear suddenly, appear in large quantities, or are accompanied by fever. Blisters filled with pus indicate an infection and require medical intervention.

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Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Jul 20, 2012

I know there are many different reasons for blisters on the stomach. But my suggestion to everyone would be to see a dermatologist immediately. It might be something minor that goes away on its own but it could also be a kind of blister that spreads or allergies.

I had blisters on my stomach, arms and legs for several weeks last July. I thought that I had a mite infestation at home and avoided going to the doctor. But when they didn't go away and spread even more, my sister dragged me to the hospital where I found out I had allergies.

The doctor said that if I hadn't received treatment in time, I could have had more serious complications. So you never know if stomach blisters are sign of a more significant problem and it's best to get it checked out as soon as possible.

By fBoyle — On Jul 20, 2012

I get a heat rash and blisters almost every summer. I don't know what it is about my skin that causes them. But if I stay in the heat for long or if I wear clothing made of synthetic materials that doesn't absorb sweat well, I get these blisters.

The ones on the stomach are the worst because the stomach is always covered and so the blisters don't heal as fast. I don't do much in terms of treatment but I do try to stay cool and dry. Staying home for a few days in air conditioning and not layering clothes usually does the trick.

But if I have to be out and about, the blisters on the stomach can last up to a week and it can be so irritating and painful. I hate it.

By fify — On Jul 19, 2012

A couple of years ago, I developed a blister on my stomach all of the sudden. It was red and painful but not full of pus. For a few days, I couldn't figure out why it happened. I don't have any allergies and wasn't wearing uncomfortable clothes. I knew I didn't come into contact with bugs either.

Then I told my mom about the blister on the phone. She's a nurse so I knew she could help me figure this out. She asked me if I was taking any medications. I said that I wasn't, just some supplements-- fish oil and aspirin. She told me that I need to stop taking those together immediately.

It turns out fish oil and aspirin together are really dangerous. They both dilute the blood and make it more watery and if taken in huge amounts, it could even lead to internal bleeding. I'm so glad I found out about this before anything bad happened. Since then, I never take fish oil supplements and aspirin on the same day and I didn't have a stomach blister again.

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