Blisters on shoulder- A Case Study

I saw a rash similar in appearance to the one above and at first assumed it was a 2nd degree blistered burn. That is until I found out more history and looked closer at the vesicles.

An 11 year old female presents for blisters on R shoulder on a Thursday.

Patient was playing water polo all weekend and was exposed to the sun (not reapplying sunscreen). Monday, pt was playing outside in dry leaves at school (was wearing T-shirt). Monday complained of muscle spasm pain in the R shoulder. Mom gave massage with itch cream (caladryl) and gave oral benadryl on Tuesday. Tuesday noticed redness on shoulder and dots with white heads localized to R shoulder. Tuesday night had worsening pain that woke her up. On Wednesday, lesions began to get bigger and look more like blisters. No longer complaining of pain today (Thurs).

Also reports face dryness from sun and chlorine reaction.

Denies fever, NVD, rash in other areas, sunburns to other areas, decrease fluid intake, decrease urine output, current pain, body aches.

PMH: twin (ex 35 week) , elevated TSH with positive antibodies; migraine, right nasolabial asymmetry, overweight, goiter

PSurg: none

PHosp: none

Meds: none


Imm: up to date on vaccines including VZV

On Exam:

Constitutional Normal No acute distress. Well nourished. Well developed.
Ears Normal Inspection – Right: Normal, Left: Normal. Canal – Right: Normal, Left: Normal. TM – Right: Normal, Left: Normal.
Nasopharynx Normal Nasal mucosa – Normal. Palate & uvula – Normal. Tonsils – Normal. Oropharynx – Normal.
Respiratory Normal Auscultation – Normal. Cough – Absent. Effort – Normal.
Cardiovascular Normal Heart rate – Regular rate. Rhythm – Regular. Murmurs – None.
Vascular Normal Capillary refill – less than 2 seconds.
Abdomen * Inspection – normal. Auscultation – normal bowel sounds. Palpation – no guarding, no rebound tenderness.
Skin Comments 7cm x 5 cm erythema on top of right shoulder with central blisters (>10) and in confluence, +tan, facial peeling over cheeks, nose, and chin with facial hypopigmentation


What’s your Differential Diagnosis?


  1. Simmi

    Did you ever figure out what this was?

    February 1, 2017 at 8:07 pm Reply

    • nowhitecoat

      bullous impetigo

      March 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm Reply

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