What Are Common Causes of Face Blisters?

N. Madison

There are many possible causes of face blisters. Among the most common are sunburn and a bacterial infection called impetigo. A person may also develop face blisters in relation to a viral illness called chicken pox. In all of these cases, the blisters and related symptoms are only temporary — treatment or time usually put an end to any and all symptoms.

Chicken pox may cause blisters.
Chicken pox may cause blisters.

One possible cause of face blisters is sunburn. An individual can get a sunburn from overexposure to the sun or even from an artificial tanning bed. The symptoms of this condition usually include redness in the area as well as discomfort or outright pain, depending on the severity of the burn. Eventually, the affected skin may begin to blister and peel as well. Any part of the body that is exposed to the sun can suffer the effects of sunburn, but sensitive, exposed facial skin may prove more prone to it than other areas.

Sun exposure can cause sunburn and face blisters.
Sun exposure can cause sunburn and face blisters.

A person may also develop face blisters because of a condition called impetigo. Contagious and caused by a bacterium referred to as staph or strep, impetigo typically causes reddened sores that ooze and crust, blisters that fill with liquid, and itching. In some cases, it may also cause sores that hurt. It is most common in children, but can affect people of all ages. Often, people develop impetigo when the bacteria responsible infect a lesion caused by another skin condition, a cut, or another type of wound — an individual can develop it without any such risk factors, however.

Sometimes face blisters develop because of a common childhood illness called chicken pox. This illness is caused by a virus and results in a rash that might resemble insect bites and forms mainly on a person's face, head, and torso. The raised bumps that make up the chicken pox rash eventually develop into blisters that are filled with fluid. In time, the blisters open and become crusted over. Other symptoms can include fever, coughing, headaches, and a general feeling of being unwell.

Although chicken pox usually affect children, the illness can also develop in adults who did not have it as children. Those who did have it usually develop an immunity to it and do not develop it a second time. Additionally, some people may avoid chicken pox blisters altogether, as there is a vaccine that can prevent a person from contracting it, or at the very least, make a case of chicken pox less severe.

Facial sunburns caused by a tanning bed can promote facial blisters.
Facial sunburns caused by a tanning bed can promote facial blisters.

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Discussion Comments


My three year old suddenly got several blisters on his face two months ago. We took him to the pediatrician who couldn't identify the blisters but said that it will probably go away on its own.

A week later, the blisters had increased in number. We went to a different doctor this time who was able to identify them as water warts. The proper name is molluscum contagiosum. However, he also told us to wait for them to disappear on their own because there really isn't a treatment for them other them removing them surgically. He did however give my son an anti-viral cream to keep the blisters from spreading.

I don't know how the problem resolved itself but the doctor was right. The blisters disappeared after a month. It was frustrating to wait without doing anything but doctors do know best. I was also relieved to at least have a diagnosis.


@feruze-- Cold sores are caused by Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). This isn't the same virus that causes genital blisters, it's a different version.

This is a virus that many people have. Once you are infected with it, you carry it in your body in a dormant state. When the immune system is weakened, such as when you're sick, or when the weather is cold, the virus becomes active. This is why many people get them in winter time. It's also why some people refer to them as fever blisters because a rise in body temperature can trigger it as well.


Does anyone know the cause of cold sore blisters? Why do I only get them in cold weather?

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