Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

Okay, gang.  I know there are folks who at least check in here from time to time.  Some of you comment (Hi, friends!), and some of you don’t, which is cool, too.  I need all of your help on this one.  Because I’m disgusted and don’t know what to do.

Woobie sucks his thumb, specifically, his right one.  He’s a year old, and I have not real issue with thumb sucking.  The doctor doesn’t either.  Suck away, as far as I’m concerned.  The problem lies in the fact that this poor little right hand thumb is gross.  It is red and irritated, shriveled, and the skin is cracked.  Think “dishpan thumb” times 10.  It looks like it hurts.  It almost looks like a severe burn.  I’m afraid one day Woob will pull it out of his mouth and all that will be left is bone.

I’m sure there are lots of great salves and creams and remedies out there that will heal the skin nicely.  But there’s that little issue of whatever goes on the thumb will go straight into the mouth.

Someone, somewhere has dealt with this problem before.  Help!


Filed under adoption, parenthood, remedies, thumb-sucking

8 responses to “Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

  1. StorkWatcher

    Hmmmm. My baby sister sucked hers until probably sometime in elementary school. I really just remember it being orange colored and one big callus. Maybe he just hasn’t sucked it enough to develop the callus yet.

    Sorry – the only other remedies I’ve heard of are not ones I would recommend – putting fingernail polish on it (DUH – it does go in the child’s mouth!!!) or hot sauce…

  2. Okay, so here’s what I’m going to try…

    I went at lunch and asked a pharmacist, who didn’t have a clue, but a friend had said when she nursed and her breasts became dry and cracked, lanolin creame was recommended and could even be used while nursing–not harmful to baby. So I asked the pharmacist about that, to which she replied, “what a great idea…” and we read the label and saw no problems with it. Its all natural. I bought it and put some on my own thumb and it…and sucked it (funny, right??). There was no weird taste and my thumb was really soft feeling. I’m going to try it. Keep your fingers crossed and I’ll let you know how it all comes out. If you have any other ideas that won’t poison the baby, keep them coming, just in case this doesn’t work.

  3. I have no ideas on this one. We don’t have a thumb sucker. Cameron likes to suck on tags. We bought him a Taggie blanket as a result. Is there anything else he sucks on? A certain toy or texture? If there is, maybe you could try and give that to him more so he would give his thumb a break. Not sure. I hope the lanolin cream works and I know my sister used it and had no ill effects on her kids!!

    Good luck! Poor thumby…

  4. As a long-time thumbsucker in my childhood, I can highly recommend lanolin. It kinda tastes lousy and if you have a wool allergy it won’t work but it’s safe (it’s why they recommend women put it on their nipples if breastfeeding is a pain) and it WORKS. 🙂

  5. That was my thought, too–any nipple cream designed for breastfeeding women.

    Most cooking oils (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) make great moisturizing treatments, as well. You could oil up his thumb when he’s in a nice warm bath, then rinse it off before he gets out.

    I sucked my thumb all the time until I was about six. His thumb will toughen up eventually, trust me.

  6. I was a thumb sucker – until I was 9! When my parents decided it was time to ‘wean’ me they tried everything, including the hot sauce, and I would just work at it until the thumb was suckable again.

    The thing that finally worked was a finger splint. They bought a plastic one that goes over the finger and taped it on. I was livid for the first 24 hours but a day and a half later I didn’t suck anymore.

    I know you aren’t trying to stop the thumb sucking, but if the skin is really raw it might be something to think about that would give it time to heal up a bit. I don’t know, just a suggestion 🙂

  7. Just to update, the lanolin cream has made such an improvement in such a short time. All the nasty scaly skin has fallen off and the swollen redness is gone. The cracks are healing and his little thumb is starting to look human again! Thanks for your suggestions!

  8. Hey,

    Miah was a huge thumb sucker and when you are ready I know how to stop it. We waited until he was close to three though…

    Anyway, just keep a close eye on it. If he begins to indicate it is painful and/or it is swollen you need to take him to the doctor. It can actually become infected believe it or not. Miah’s did and he had to have antibiotics.


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