A friend of mine just got out of the hospital after coming down with severe case of large water blisters on the lower torso that spread from the spinal area around the front of the torso and down the legs. This is the thrid time he has had this, and each time it progressively gets worse. The occurances are about every 18 months and started shortly after coming back from Mexico. This last occurance was the most severe so far, causing sepsis, elvated WBC, and extremely low blood pressures at or below 70/30. There was a point where he began to crash and the doctors were not sure if he was going to make it. The blisters are painful and extremely itchy, ranging in size from dime size to about the size of a quarter with water blistering on them. Any ideas? Doctors rules out shingles. Wife has not gotten anything, so not likely to be a scabies. Some forms of dermatitis have also been ruled out. Mild heart history, but nothing else. Lupus? Parasitic? We do not know.
Your friend needs to see a dermatologist and get a skin biopsy searching for possibilities such as bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus vulgaris or epidermolysis bullosa acquisita. There are a number of these rare blistering conditions, some of which, as you've noted, are life-threatening. The dermatologist is most likely your friend's best bet. Good luck!
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