The small blisters you describe, filled with clear fluid are a form of dermatitis called pompholyx, also known as vesicular eczema (a vesicle is small fluid filled sac). Pompholyx is the preferred term, it means bubble in Latin and the blisters very often look like little bubbles.
This particular type of eczema only seems to occur on the hands and feet.
The condition comes and goes over time, nobody really knows what causes it. Moisture, detergents and chemicals can all aggravate it. I have seen many cases where the popmpholyx develops or worsens after stress.
In some people there appears to be an allergic tendency, and in some cases nickel sensitivity can be the cause, so avoid cheap nickel coated rings, watches and jewelry.
Mild cases usually resolve themselves, though sometimes nightly cortisone based creams can help relieve the itching that often, but not always, accompanies pompholyx. If it worsens or gets too itchy see your family physician.
Severe cases are fairly rare, and often require stronger steroid creams, and occasionally oral steroids (prednisolone or similar).
Breaking the blisters can be difficult as they are quite small and the skin over them is quite thick. It is not a good thing to do as the broken blisters can become infected and painful.
Basic management involves avoiding exposure to skin irritants (wear good gloves when doing the dishes) and keeping the hands moisturized. Cool compresses can help when the blisters are itchy.
If your case is mild, it will settle without treatment over a few days or weeks (and may not come back for months or years). It's a good idea to see your family doctor if you're worried.
There are some good pictures here, http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/pompholyx.html
and the information provided is not too technical.
· 1 decade ago