How to Treat Cracked Skin Caused by a Baby's Thumb-Sucking

Babies suck their thumbs to comfort or entertain themselves. Your baby's tender skin can become red and cracked after constant thumb-sucking. Several home remedies may help alleviate irritation associated with this habit. After treating his skin you may want to start working on preventative measures to ensure he doesn't constantly suffer from cracked skin. Although many methods may seem safe, check with your pediatrician as a precautionary measure before you begin treatment.


Use oatmeal as a natural exfoliant to get rid of dead chapped skin on his hands 2. Oatmeal is a gentle remedy to help heal and sooth your baby's dry skin. Before you get him ready for a bath, prep your oatmeal exfoliant. Put a 1-cup portion of plain old-fashioned oats in your blender and grind the oats until you have a fine powder. Gently rub his hands in the oatmeal powder to get rid of flaky skin. Bath him as you normally would, dry his skin thoroughly and immediately apply a moisturizer to his hands and body.


Treating your infant's irritated thumbs and fingers may be as simple as digging through your kitchen cabinets. Fats you use to cook with, such as shortening, avocado oil and olive oil are very moisturizing to the skin. Rub your baby girl's hands with a small amount of one of these fatty substances while she is sleeping. This way, she'll be less likely to instantly lick it off. For added protection, place her hands in baby mittens to allow the moisturizing agent to sink in. Since oils and shortening are edible, you won't have to worry about her licking a harmful substance if she puts her thumb back in her mouth. Additionally, she may dislike the taste, which can discourage her from constant thumb-sucking.

Other Options

Keeping his skin thoroughly moisturized is a key step in treating cracks and dryness from thumb-sucking. Several varieties of baby lotions are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Baby lotions are specifically designed as gentle agents for your infant's delicate skin. Selecting lotion specifically designed for babies is important since they are non-toxic to babies. Some varieties of baby lotion also include sunscreen to prevent further irritation from the sun.


Preventing her from sucking her thumb can stop sore thumbs and fingers before they start. Placing a bitter-tasting liquid on her nailbeds might discourage her from wanting to put her thumb in her mouth. These types of liquid drops are available over the counter at your local supermarket, or you can ask your pharmacist for drops designed for babies. Often these types of liquids have an unpleasant flavor, such as bitter apple, that your baby will find undesirable. If you decide to use liquid drops for prevention, make sure you thoroughly treat dry cracked skin beforehand. Putting a bitter liquid on open wounds may further irritate her fragile skin.

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