How To Treat a Milk Blister While Breastfeeding

Milk blisters are a common occurrence for many breastfeeding mothers. If you have been experiencing this problem, then you may be wondering what to do about it. In this article, we will discuss the causes of milk blisters and how to treat them so that they can heal quickly and go away completely!

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How do you treat a milk blister?

Many women experienced Milk Blisters during breastfeeding. These small white spots turn into milk blisters if nipple pores get blocked. Causes include too much milk supply or yeast or bacteria contamination. Wearing an uncomfortable bra or something uncomfortable can be a problem in some cases. There are home remedies available to treat and prevent blisters.

Milk blisters can easily be removed at home or prescribed by medical care providers by hospital-grade breast pumps. Home remedies include breastfeeding, hand expressing, pumping, and gently scratching the surface to allow the milk duct to open again.

What is milk bleb?

A milk bleb or milk blister are soft tissue blisters that are blocked within the gland. In most cases when stale milk is unable to release and it will cause an accumulation of milk in its lining. Because of the effect, it causes breast milk to become thick and hard blocking milk flow. The clogged milk duct can cause little growth of skin over the gland and becomes a milk bleb.

When do you know it’s a milk blister

You can tell it’s a milk blister by the presence of a white spot on your nipple. It is usually accompanied by pain and a burning sensation during breastfeeding or pumping milk. If you suspect that it’s not just an ordinary milk blister, then check for other symptoms such as redness around the area, fever, and flu-like illness, seek immediate medical attention because it can lead to mastitis.

Symptoms of milk blebs and milk blisters

Milk blisters or skin blebs typically look like tiny white or yellow spots on the surface of the nipple area. The skin around blob milk may be red and inflamed and you may feel pain when you are nursing. This is not a blood blister that’s caused by an irritant from an incorrect latch or a poorly fit breast pump or nipple shield.

thrush in nipples

How do you treat a milk bleb?

There are several home remedies that mothers use in order to cure their milk blebs. Here are 3 steps to treating a milk blister:

1.Apply moist heat to the affected area

You can add warm water with epsom salts into a haakaa and attach it to your breast then let it soak for 10 minutes before nursing at least 3 times a day until it has cleared.

You can also try a warm washcloth or a cotton ball with a few drops of olive oil or grapefruit seed extract.

2.Remove the skin from the milk duct

The skin can be removed on its own from nursing or pumping but if you are still having trouble you can gently exfoliate the area with a warm washcloth.

If you need a little more work to get past the skin, you can use your clean hands by carefully scraping the top of the blocked duct with your clean fingernail.

Another way is to take a sterile needle to break the milk duct opening.

3.Nurse and then pump

Right after you have softened the skin with the epsom salt soak, breastfeed while you hand express to help work the plugged ducts out. After your baby is done nursing, finish by pumping with a hospital-grade pump.

Once your skin has softened, nursing and using a pump should gently pull the hardened milk out.

how much breast milk for newborns

What is the best way to prevent milk blisters

For recurrent milk blisters and are trying to prevent more from happening, there are some things you can do. You should avoid wearing bras that are too tight or have underwires as they may irritate the area and cause the milk ducts to be blocked again.

You could also try hand expressing while breastfeeding, to help release any clogs in the milk duct.

Another tip is reducing saturated fats to prevent future clogs.

Taking sunflower lecithin can help prevent clogged ducts as well.

Milk blebs and blisters can be a very common issue for breastfeeding mothers but there are easy ways you can treat them at home or with the help of medical care providers so that they can heal quickly and go away completely!

Heal recurrent milk blisters

When healing from milk blebs, do a saline soak and add an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

Apply a warm washcloth to the milk blister for at least five minutes.

Treat recurring milk blisters with heat and massage

If you are experiencing frequent milk blebs, consider using moist heat on your breast throughout the day or apply warmth after each feeding. Massage also helps work out any clogged areas in the ducts.

You can also do a saline soak prior to nursing.

Using a hospital-grade pump can help relieve pain and will work to break up the clogged milk gland.

It is important that you seek medical attention or a lactation consultant if your symptoms do not improve or become worse after treating with these home remedies.

correct latch for breastfeeding

FAQs for milk blisters

Can I pop a milk blister?

You can usually pop your milk blister yourself by using a sterile needle-like object and popping the top off of it.

However, if you feel like there is something inside preventing it from coming out on its own or causing discomfort when nursing, then we recommend that you seek medical attention.

Will a milk blister heal on its own?

A milk blister is a type of skin blister which is filled with fluid. It can heal on its own from breastfeeding or pumping and may take up to seven days for the blister to heal naturally without treatment, but if you are still having trouble after this time period or it does not seem like it’s getting better please consult your doctor!

What causes a milk bleb?

They are caused by milk stuck inside of the milk duct and skin has grown over the nipple pore stopping the milk from flowing out.

What is the fastest way to heal a milk blister?

The fastest way is to do a daily saline soak with epsom salt for about 1 minute and to pat dry. Keep the nipple area moist with expressed breast milk after nursing or manual expression and add antibiotic ointment if needed.

Keep an airflow and change breast pads often or some moms find wearing breast shells help and adding olive oil or citrus seed extract.

Are nursing blisters normal?

They are common but if it is reoccurring then treat the problem such as a milk oversupply to prevent them from happening again.

Can you pump out a milk bleb?

Yes but softening the skin prior will help open up the blocked nipple pore.

What does it mean when you have a blister on your nipple?

You are getting recurrent plugged ducts that are unable to come out. Speak with a lactation consultant to see how you can prevent them in the future.

Can you get blisters on your nipples from pumping?

Yes, if you have the wrong size flange or nipple shield it can cause a milk duct obstruction.

You can also have an overgrowth of yeast that is on your pump parts and need to be disinfected after each use.

how much breast milk for newborns

How do you soften milk blebs?

You can use a warm wet compress for about five minutes daily. Express some milk out of the nipple area or you could also try massaging.

Milk blisters are not uncommon in breastfeeding moms. There are many ways that you can treat a milk bleb at home yourself or with help your from health care provider. They can heal quickly! It is important to seek medical attention or a lactation consultant if your symptoms do not improve after treating with these home remedies.

Be sure to read 6 Steps to Get a Correct Latch for Breastfeeding and When is it Safe to Breastfeed After Drinking

About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.