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Acute edema blister
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Acute edema blister

Contributors: Vivian Wong MD, PhD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Hydrostatic bulla (including edema blister, stasis blister) is a common noninfectious blistering condition. Hydrostatic bullae develop due to the rapid accumulation of interstitial fluid in patients with an acute exacerbation of localized or generalized edema (anasarca). Hydrostatic bullae appear and gradually increase in size over time parallel to fluid retention by the patient. This entity is most commonly observed on dependent areas, typically the lower extremities, of older adults who are hospitalized.

Hydrostatic bullae can be seen in various medical conditions associated with an increase in interstitial fluid, including heart failure, renal disease, hepatic cirrhosis, angioedema, hypoalbuminemia, venous occlusion (thrombosis), and lymphedema, or be caused by ingestion of certain drugs (eg, calcium channel blockers).


R23.8 – Other skin changes

403177004 – Acute edema blisters

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Bullous Morphea
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Trauma bulla
  • Delayed Thermal or electrical burn
  • Bullous Arthropod bite or sting
  • Bullous drug eruption
  • Coma bullae
  • Bullosis diabeticorum
  • Allergic contact dermatitis

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated:09/04/2017
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Acute edema blister
A medical illustration showing key findings of Acute edema blister : Ankle, Dorsum of foot, Lower extremity edema, Lower leg, Tense bullae, Foot or toes
Clinical image of Acute edema blister - imageId=7880509. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Patterned vesicles, bullae, crusts, and surrounding erythema on an edematous abdomen.'
Patterned vesicles, bullae, crusts, and surrounding erythema on an edematous abdomen.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.