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Can Children Develop Blisters from Sucking Their Thumbs

Can children develop blisters from sucking their thumbs? As a matter of, excessive and prolonged thumb sucking can cause children to develop blisters on their thumbs. This article will address the causes for blister formation, treatment tips, and how to prevent the blisters from forming in the first place.

How Blisters Form

Concerned parents watching their children’s behavior may ask themselves, “Can children develop blisters from sucking their thumbs?” The answer, quite simply, is yes. According to Dr. Bineesh Moyeed—a Chicago pharmacist—blisters form from the friction caused by the continuous rubbing of the tongue and lips on the child’s thumb or fingers. A blister’s raised skin contains liquid or air that protects the new skin. Parents should be careful with how they treat blisters.

Why It’s Important To Treat a Child’s Blisters

Although it is recommended not to pop a blister, accidents can always happen, especially if the child continues sucking. Should a blister pop, the protective skin barrier will break, and your child may be at an increased risk of infection. This is especially the case if the child continues to suck, as the mouth harbors a plethora of harmful microbes. Infected or not, the affected area may not heal properly, causing unsightly scarring.

How To Treat a Child’s Blisters

You should never deliberately pop a blister. This action will break the skin’s protective barrier and make the sublayer susceptible to infection. In the context of young children or babies, you should not put band-aids, ointments, or creams on the affected area. These products could be unsafe for toddlers as well.

Instead, according to Children’s National, you should follow these steps:

  • Wash the blister with water and soap.
  • Reduce swelling and discomfort with an ice pack.
  • Keep the area dry and clean.
  • Watch for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, drainage, pus formation, or pain.
  • Call a physician if an infection occurs.

Get Your Child To Break the Habit

In order to allow the blister to heal properly and prevent future blisters, it is best to correct the root cause of this issue: thumb or finger sucking. Blisters are one of the troublesome consequences of thumb sucking. Once you treat that habit, there will no longer be any sustained friction or chafing that can cause future blisters. If the thumb is already injured, the need to prevent thumb sucking is even more imperative.

One way to safely protect the thumb from any friction that may cause blisters is to cover it with a TGuard. Made out of soft, flexible, and medical-grade plastic, TGuard AeroThumb and AeroFinger are FDA-listed devices that provide a physical barrier between the thumb or finger and the mouth. When a child tries to suck their fingers, they will not make direct contact with the skin. This barrier protects the skin, allowing the blistered area to heal more effectively. 

As a bonus, these medical devices break the suction that children seek when they engage in thumb sucking, ultimately making the habit less pleasurable. In most cases, after 30 days of treatment, the child no longer has a desire to suck their thumbs or fingers. Once the habit is gone, so is the emergence of blisters.


How To Safely Treat Thumb Sucking Blisters, According To Experts” from Romper

Pediatric Blisters” by Children’s National