Five tips for getting rid of a painful bleb (milk blister)

May 15, 2015

If you've ever had a bleb (also known as a milk blister) you know that they can be both painful and difficult to get rid of.  They can also lead to plugged ducts because they prevent milk from exiting the breast normally. 

 A bleb is a little white spot on the tip of the nipple that can look like a pimple with skin covering a white dot, and it can look like a nipple pore with milk stuck inside it (sometimes referred to as a plugged nipple pore).  When you get rid of one the milk may look like a tiny line of toothpaste, or like small granules of sugar.  There may also be a little blood, or you may notice nothing at all.

 Getting rid of a bleb and the pain that comes with it is a huge relief, so we thought we'd share five tips* for getting rid of them:

1)  Use a warm wet compress before each feeding.  If skin has covered up a nipple pore, softening the skin with a warm wet compress before a feeding will help to loosen the skin so that when your baby nurses the skin opens and releases the bleb.  Some mothers also try a saline soak (2 teaspoons Epsom salts to 1 cup water), soaking in the bathtub, or using olive oil on a cotton ball worn inside a bra in between feedings.  

2)  Loosen the milk stuck in the pore.  If the bleb is being caused by milk which is stuck in a nipple pore, you can try applying vinegar to the area with a cotton ball over the nipple held inside your bra.  Vinegar dissolves calcium, so it may help to loosen dried milk stuck in a nipple pore.  Warm wet compresses also help to loosen plugged nipple pores so that your baby can remove them while nursing.

 3)  Apply pressure, gently.  Your baby is the best person to apply pressure to the bleb when she nurses, especially after you apply a warm wet compress.  But you can also - gently - manipulate the area behind the bleb after using a compress to see if you can get the bleb to release.  A pump is generally not very effective because it pulls instead of pushing from behind the bleb.

4)  Prevent infection by using a double antibiotic ointment.  If you think that the bleb might be infected, or right after a bleb opens up, use a double antibiotic ointment (that does not contain neomycin, which causes skin irritation in some people) on the affected area.  Use a tiny amount, just enough to cover the area, and apply after feedings.  The ointment does not need to be washed off before the next feeding, and it is safe for your baby to ingest the very small amount that will remain when he next nurses.

5)  Open it, safely.  Ask your healthcare provider to open the bleb using a sterile instrument.  If you've tried everything else and your provider is unwilling to do so, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding recommends using a sterile needle (held in a candle flame to sterilize) to open the bleb by picking at it from the side and using sterile tweezers to peel back the layer of skin.  After the skin is opened, either by your provider or yourself, be sure to use an antibiotic ointment (see above) on the affected area to prevent infection.

More resources on blebs and how to get rid of them:

This post is educational in nature, and is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your health care provider for medical advice on this topic should you need it.





Sheree P. Gilliam

I think a lot of moms experience this problem when they begin to feed their baby breast. And the tips in this article are very useful. I also want to share my experiences. The first and most important – is to keep eye on correctness of applying the baby to the breast. As much as possible keep the nipple in the air, so that they can dry out, that is to be kept dry. Here find more information https://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/articles/sore-nipples.
I also want to add that the blisters (on the lips, on the feet) is the protector of the body. It is strongly not advisable to breaking blisters considering high risk of entering infection in a wound, longer curing and possible consequences. For example, if wet blisters on the foot aren’t treated eventually it can be transformed in to a dry blister, which will go deeply to the lower layers of skin. Here more details. https://pinkycloud.com/away-with-the-pain-at-every-step-how-to-get-rid-of-plantar-callosity-calluses-and-plantar-warts

Nikki

My mom who is a nurse told me to try something a doctor told her thirty years ago. Make yourself a cup of green tea, chill the tea bag and then put it on your nipple. I would do this every day, waiting the tea bag to the other nipple after I nursed( I just stuffed in my bra) and this did the trick. There was no need to open the bleb. It worked amazing well. Good luck.

Anja

I just pinched the bleb with my thumb and forefinger and it came off. My breast was hard due to the clogged milk ducts but after I pinched the bleb, I was able to pump better and relieve the sore breast and hardened milk ducts.

Emily

I unfortunately have a lot of experience with milk bebs, blisters and clogged ducts throughout my 20+ months of breastfeeding my LO. Here is what I’ve found has worked for me:
- of course do all the typical treatments such as hot shower|compress, exfoliating nipple, massaging breast|expressing milk, continuing to breastfeed on afflicted side, ensuring proper latch, changing positions, cleaning nipples, lancing blister (I’ve always done it myself with no adverse problems - make sure to sterilized needle and then use an antibiotic ointment (I actually use ev coconut oil), etc. I was doing all that the first time I had a blister which lasted for 6 months. Yes, you read that correctly. 6 months. Nothing was permanently working for me. I was able to maintain my bleb and not get mastitis (though I was almost constantly dealing with a clogged pore) by doing those things. But what finally got rid of the bleb and clogged pores for good was a combination of doing those things PLUS:

Emily

(Continued)
- taking the maximum daily dose of lecithin every day (most important)
- taking what I consider to be my miracle boob cure, Happy Ducts tincture by Wish Garden (available in health food stores or on Amazon). I spent hours searching for cures online and only in one obscure thread did I happen across this gem of information. The magic ingredient is POKE ROOT (aka poke weed) which can be overdosed. Happy ducts is a tincture of poke root and other ingredien at in the right ratios. It’s the only tincture of its kind that I’ve found. (Second most important)
- taking vitamin C morning and night
- taking cranberry once a day
- taking a variety of Probiotics morning and night
- cutting down on sugars and unhealthy fats (very important - especially if you’re sensitive to yeast overgrowths like I am)
- taking Echinacea
- vit b12

Emily

(Continued)
When I do a combination of those things religiously I always get rid of the problems. I was bleb and clogged duct free for 5 months until I had a neck injury and couldn’t move, and could only feed lying on my back. Baby was probably compressing some ducts and I got another bleb that lasted 2 1/2 months, only because my injury rendered me immobile and as a result I was eating a lot of unhealthy foods, depressed, and I was too lazy to be strict with my anti -bleb regimen.  Once I decided to commit to it I was bleb free within days.

Once healthy again I cut the supplements down to:
- Probiotics only in morning
- 1 vitamin C in the day
-  no Echinacea
- no happy ducts
- yes cranberry
- vit b12
- yes lecithin (can reduce dose)
If I feel something starting I’ll take some happy ducts and increase the lecithin and I’m all good.

Emily

 

 

Now I’m scouring the internet for a cute for what seems to be a different type of blisteer (not milk) which was brought on by my voracious toddler’s desire to night nurse laying on top of me and (I think) having a shallow latch as she falls asleep (as do I). I’ve tried to say no but it only results in her wide awake and whining, but that’s another discussion!

I hope my advice can help some of you!

 

Samatha

On my second delivery, I had a milk bleb on my right nipple. Very painful during breastfeeding. Infact due to the pain I stopped feeding baby one day from my right breast. My moms advice cut a piece of aloe vera plant (2inch exposing the jelly part), sprinkle turmeric powder slightly on it and heat it slightly and place it on the nipple and stuff it in the bra for 1 hr everyday. This relieved me from pain. This medication helped a lot


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