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Steps To Treat Blisters From Finger or Thumb Sucking

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Most parents know that kids should outgrow thumb and finger sucking behavior by the time they’re ready for preschool. But during the thumb-sucking years, kids can be susceptible to various types of harm, some of which can have permanent impacts.

In addition to dental deformation, thumb sucking can cause blisters, which can result in permanent scarring on the skin on or around the fingers or thumb in serious cases. Blisters also carry the risk of infection. When a blister breaks, the new skin trying to form beneath it loses its protective cover. That new skin is overly sensitive, and it can sting just by being in contact with the air.

If the child continues to put broken or blistered skin in their mouth, they introduce a multitude of bacteria to the wound that could cause an infection. Learn steps to treat blisters from finger or thumb sucking and continue finding ways to encourage your child to break the thumb or finger sucking habit.

Never Pop a Blister

The first thing to know about blisters is never to pop them. The blister forms as a protective layer over new skin coming in underneath. If the blister is intact, leave it that way.

Gently Wash and Thoroughly Dry

Use water and strictly non-toxic, gently baby soap to wash the blistered area carefully, making sure you don’t puncture the blister. Thoroughly pat it dry.

In the simplest words that your child can understand, explain to them how important it is that they keep the blister clean and never put it in their mouth. Tell your child about germs and how they can make them sick and make the blister hurt more.

Don’t Use Bandages or Ointment

Bandages are a choking hazard for young children who suck their thumbs or fingers. Similarly, ointments and moisturizers may contain ingredients that are harmful to children if ingested. Simply check your child’s blister from time to time, make sure it is clean and dry, and wait for it to heal on its own.

This can take a while, especially if your child can’t resist the temptation to self-soothe through thumb or finger sucking. Offer alternative means of comfort, like a favorite stuffed animal, blanket to cuddle, or a special time in a rocking chair with you.

If a blister bursts, try to keep the area dry and clean. Exposure to air can help it heal, but it may sting a bit at first. Offer comfort to your child and reassure them that the pain will subside.

If you notice signs of infection, like redness or heat in the blistered area, or a fever, consult your pediatrician immediately.

Prevent Blisters

The best way to treat blisters from finger or thumb sucking is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Use a device to stop thumb sucking, like the TGuard AeroThumb, or its companion for finger sucking, the AeroFinger, to break the habit. These devices take away the sensation of suction that makes thumb or finger sucking pleasurable for little ones. Within a month of wearing the device, the habit should stop.

Blisters in babies and toddlers are upsetting, but if carefully managed, they don’t have to progress to infection or scarring. Keep in close touch with your pediatrician for additional advice on what to do about thumb-sucking blisters in children.