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How can I protect my son's thumb?

My son is almost 14 months, and is (thanks to teething) an avid thumb-sucker. The top of his thumb (by the knuckle) is calloused and his skin is starting to crack and look angry. He hasn't used a pacifier since he was 3 months and discovered how yummy his thumb is, so I doubt he'd take one now. Is there anything I can put on his thumb that is safe? My SIL recommended gauze, but he'll chew the fibers off. My aunt suggested liquid band-aid, is that safe? Anything I put on it will end up in his mouth.
Any ideas?

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Asked by Koukla12905 at 7:16 PM on Oct. 7, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • His thumb will be fine. Once he gives up sucking it will go back to normal. I wouldn't put anything on it.

    Answer by mompam at 7:21 PM on Oct. 7, 2010

  • I'm not worried about long-term damage; I know his skin will heal when he grows out of the habit. What I'm worried about is the meantime, while he is sucking away. If it takes him another year to stop sucking, he won't have any skin left on the thumb.

    Comment by Koukla12905 (original poster) at 7:34 PM on Oct. 7, 2010

  • My son has been a thumb sucker since he was 3 months old so every winter his thumb cracks and bleeds. We just try to keep it clean and his doc recommended putting lotion on it when we can. Some nights I would sneak some aquaphor on it while he slept. I've also used chapstick, it helped keep the skin protected and it was safe to put in his mouth.

    Answer by Catie_W1015 at 7:44 PM on Oct. 7, 2010

  • My daughter's thumb is like this as well. There's really nothing you can do about it, as long as they keep sucking. I asked her pediatrician about it, and she said to just let it be and put nontoxic lotion on her hands at night, which seems to help a lot. She loves it too, "time for oshin!"

    Answer by soflashelley at 7:46 PM on Oct. 7, 2010

  • try putting some chapstick (edible) on his thumbs and if you can put lotion and wrap it up during the day when you can distract him long enough to keep it out of his mouth.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 5:40 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

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