So, like many who have posted here, I also get these tiny blisters in a patch, often times about the size of a postage stamp, on my index finger or thumb (sometimes around the cuticle, sometimes in the more fleshy part of the finger). Like others, I've tried to pop the blisters. They are usually sturdier than simply a liquid filled sack as might be described by a chicken pox blister. But, I get the same clear liquid as many of you that has a little more viscosity to it. There is usually some itching beforehand and some burning later on. Most of the pain is typical of swelling left by the open lesions. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Almost certainly, these bumps or blisters are Herpetic Whitlow. Herpetic Whitlow is an outbreak related to HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus 2). This is unlike simplex 1, which is usually tied to the face and causes cold sores. Rather, simplex 2 is tied to the nether areas (principally the genitals). When you have an outbreak in that area and you do all the things that normal people do, you are likely going to end up with an outbreak on your hands, as well.
Important to remember this is a virus, not bacteria. Topical treatments are designed to soothe and restore skin, etc. They don't actually destroy the virus, which is running through your blood passages and affecting cells from that arena. Like all viral outbreaks, they are usually self-depleting, especially if you do not burst the blisters. Creating open lesions spreads viral filled fluids (that's likely how you got it on your hands in the first place).
Viral outbreaks are commonly triggered by other conditions. Environmental conditions resulting in an allergic reaction can and do prompt viral related outbreaks in some cases. Stress, fatigue, sleep deprivation, anxiety, all those sorts of mood dampening things are frequently inherent to these sorts of outbreaks (yes, your emotional status can be the catalyst for an outbreak). Anyone who has ever been to a neurologist for any variety of ailments will quickly realize these sorts of mood dampening circumstances are a large aspect to many physiological issues we end up suffering with (some for longer periods of time than others). The good news, Herpetic Whitlow, as I said, is self-depleting. Leave it alone for a few weeks and it will likely go away on its own.
If you are active sexually, make sure you keep those nether areas clean and dry. Moisture there can cause a variety of add-on complications, including yeast problems (which from a physiological standpoint, is far more bothersome than HSV 2). Avoid putting your hands to your mouth or face. This is an innate, habitual aspect of being human (from the time you were a baby). We too frequently put our hands on our face, mouth, nose, eyes, ears, all of that, and as a result, subconsciously spread disease upon ourselves. Avoid as much facial contact as possible, and you'll be a lot more comfortable in the long run. Obviously, in the heat of the moment, the decisions yours and hormones frequently prevail; but take it at your own risk.
If you are still concerned, get the advice and direction from your primary care provider. The likely advice for open lesions will be some sort of topical, antibiotic cream to minimize bacterial infections and soothe tender skin or swelling. Otherwise, the more genuine advice will be to (1) wait it out, (2) keep clean, and (3) don't touch your nether areas more than you have to.