Bullous skin lesions

Last updated: Saturday, 13, November, 2010
CausesAppropriate Tests

Solar/thermal injury

Diagnosis based on history and physical examination, with selected diagnostic imaging, endoscopy and pathology tests, as indicated.

Contactants, including

  • Rhus tree    
  • Grevillea (Robyn Gordon type)    
  • Poison ivy    
  • Chemicals

Patch testing is sometimes indicated. It should only be performed by a specialist practitioner, as reactions may be severe.

Bullous impetigo

Herpes simplex infection

Varicella zoster infection


Pemphigus antibodies.


Pemphigoid antibodies.

Erythema multiforme

Porphyria, especially

  • Porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Porphyria variegata


Porphyrins - urine
Porphyrins, porphobilinogen - urine; porphyrins - faeces.


Epidermolysis bullosa

Molecular genetics, if available.

Dermatitis herpetiformis

Transglutaminase antibodies.

See also Coeliac disease.

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

Toxic epidermal necrolysis

Graft versus host disease

Fixed drug reactions, especially

  • Tetracycline