What are thumb sucking blisters?

Thumb sucking blisters are a painful problem that can occur when babies suck their thumbs or fingers. They are more likely to occur when babies suck for an extended period. They are the result of increased friction from your little ones lips and tongue against the skin on their hand. The blisters usually look like oval bubbles. They are often filled with liquid.

It is important that parents know the correct way to treat such blisters when they occur. 

Should I pop the blisters?

It is important not to attempt to pop your child’s blisters yourself. This is because the skin bubble and liquid it contains protects the new skin forming beneath from infection. Popping the blister will break the barrier of protection and allow infection to enter.

Only a medical practitioner should drain a blister under clinical conditions. 

What about applying creams?

It is dangerous to apply ointments to your baby’s sucking blisters, unless directed to do so by a medical practitioner. This is because babies will often continue to suck their thumb despite the blister. Many ointments are harmful if ingested.  Older children are more likely to listen when instructed not to suck the area that has blistered.

Shall I apply an Elastoplast to protect the area?

It is unwise to apply such a dressing, especially when the injury is a sucking blister. Very young children are prone to continue sucking. A damp dressing may slip off easily and cause your child to choke. 

What can I do to help my baby’s hand heal?

Sucking blisters often heal without medical intervention. However, general guidelines suggest the following;

  • Keep the area clean by gently washing with soap and water
  • Try to keep the area dry as much as possible
  • Look out for signs of infection. Symptoms include areas of unusual warmth, swelling, inflammation,  signs of pus formation, liquid seeping from infected area and tenderness. 
  • Should you note any signs of infection, become aware the blisters are not healing or have any other concerns please contact your health care provider.
  • If antibiotics are prescribed finish the course as directed.
  • It is best to encourage your child not to suck the infected thumb. The use of socks on the hands, mittens or our little baby guards may help.

 

 

 

 

 

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