15 answers

Blister from Thumb Sucking

Have any of you ever heard of a kid getting a blister on her thumb from sucking it? My three-month-old has a huge blister at the base of her left thumbnail. It looks like it hurts! What does a mother do about a blister like that?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I kept an eye on that blister to make sure it didn't change color (or for those of us on the home team: to make sure it wasn't infected). It eventually just went down on its own, and now it looks totally fine.

Thanks for all the answers, everybody!

Featured Answers

Don't do anything. For heaven's sake, don't use that bitter stuff on a kid so young. Let it be and only treat it if it breaks. If that happens, pat dry whenever you notice it being wet and use something non-toxic to soothe.

More Answers

My daughter had the same thing and I did have to take her to the doctor to have it drained once. They drained it and put her on an antibiotic to be safe and told me to put a band aid with neosporin on it until it wasn't so red and the scab fell off. That was over a year ago and she still sucks when going to bed and there is just a callouse there now.

Just try to keep it clean and dry and if you can put some baby lotion on it while she's sleeping.

good luck!
J. M

Hi J.,
It looks worse then it really is. The blister will turn to a callus very shortly. Looks like she likes her thumb. I'm the mother of 6 six and while I have never had a thumb child, I myself was one till I was ten years old. Mine didn't hurt, just looked like it did. I can't believe I'm sharing this info., but I hope it puts your mine at peace.
J. H.

Don't do anything. For heaven's sake, don't use that bitter stuff on a kid so young. Let it be and only treat it if it breaks. If that happens, pat dry whenever you notice it being wet and use something non-toxic to soothe.

If you want her to stop sucking her thumb, there is a type of nail polish that you can put on that is supposed to make her stop. I don't know the name but, it is clear and it tastes bitter. It may or may not work. I worked at a daycare before and some of the parents would use this. It worked on some of the kids but not others.

Hi J.,

My two-year-old has a thumb-sucking blister that he's had forver. It doesn't seem to bother him. It has never popped or oozed anything.

This winter I was worried because of the cold temperatures and asked my pediatrician for advice. They said there wasn't much we could do. Any ointments we'd put on it wouldn't be good for him to swallow while he's sucking.

So we just leave it alone and he seems fine. I wouldn't worry unless it continually breaks, doesn't heal or oozes something.

Best of luck!


Hi J.,
My little girl has the same thing and I do two things to help it. I use Aquaphor on it during the day and then I also put baby oil on it right after the bath while her hands are still wet. Hope this helps!

Very weird, I am dealing with the same problem, but not from thumb sucking.. One of my twins has a big blister on his middle finger by his nail, right hand, very sore and red.Not sure what happened.. I took him to the head athletic trainer at EIU(my husband works with her). She said to keep an eye on the redness, if the redness goes beyond the first knuckle, have it looked at, it is then infected. THe blister should drain on its own within 48 hours, if it does not, have it looked at by Dr. In the meantime, soak in warm soapy water, 3x a day for 5-10 minutes, which is not easy to do with a little one, but try..:-) Then antibiotic when and if you can. Hard if she is putting it in her mouth, so soak as much as possible I guess. She also said when he is asleep I could try sterilizing a needle, and draining the blister, then bandaid it with ointment at night. I did that last night, it looks a little better this morning.
Sorry for the long response, hope this helps!!!

Hi J.!

I just went to the dr. last week b/c my 3 1/2 month old had this on her finger from sucking it. My 2 year old also got this from sucking her thumb at that age, so I knew that it was probably infected. For her they gave her an antibiotic and it cleared it up. This time around he squeezed the puss out (as you can imagine...she wasn't too happy about that) and told me to put a little bit of neosporin on it while she was sleeping (2-3 times a day). Don't put a bandaid on it b/c that could come off and she could choke on it. He didn't feel it was necessary to put her on an antibiotic, but wrote me a prescription and told me if it didn't get better in a couple of days, then fill it. Wish I would have saved myself the $ and just squeezed the puss out myself......he said that most of the time that's all you need to do.

I agree with the mom who said take her to a Dr. My son also had a strep infection right by his nail when he was and infant and we had to put anti-biotics on it. Do not pick at it or try to pop it either. That will spread the infection and make things worse. So see your Dr. as soon as you can.

You have to be very careful! My niece just had a "blister" from sucking her fingers... we thought. It turned out to be a strep infection and she needed very strong antibiotics to get rid of it. If she has the same thing, it's dangerously close to her nail bed and could cost her her nail if not caught quickly. Take her to the doctor, please!

From the responses sounds like you may want to bring her to a doctor. I remember my doctor checked the thumb around that age mentioning that some thumb sucker kids get a blister - so it must be something they watch for. Related, my thumb sucker son made his thumb so dry this winter that it cracked. Lanolin is safe to put on the thumb and it worked wonders.

The little girl I babysit is 21 months old and she got a blister on her thumb not too long ago. She only sucks her thumb when she's tired. I won't let her suck her thumb during the daytime. At any rate, it popped and she complained a bit but it has healed and formed a callus. I don't know what you can do to prevent thumb sucking other than put gloves on your baby's hands...make sure to secure them to the sleeper with a safety pin so your baby can't suck it off.

Might be worth the day or two of complaining if you can break them of the habit now. It will be tough thing later.

Don't worry about it! My little girl had the same thing, at about the same age. Just like they had sucking blisters on their lips when they first started nursing so much. Its just their skin getting tough. If she's still sucking it, or not crying while sucking, then she's not in any (or too much) pain. There isn't really any salve you can put on it or she will ingest it. So she should be fine in a week or two!

My daughter had that but at 4 years old. She switched thumbs and that raised a blister. We were able to communicate with her and she finally stopped. And yes it hurts.

Sounds like your baby has sucking needs. Perhaps you can find a substitute and see if she will adapt to it part-time.


The "old days" answer to this was to put pair of baby socks on her hands so she couldn't. If she still sucked, the sock would just get a little wet but the blister could heal.

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