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Breastfeeding Magazine

Milk Blisters or Blebs Can Hurt Like Crazy – Treat And Prevent Them



Milk Blisters Can HurtIf you see a small white spot on your breast it may be a milk blister. It is important to learn about what they are, what causes them and how to you can treat them.  They are generally REALLY painful but tend to heal quickly so hang in there!

What Are Milk Blisters or Blebs?  What Do They Look Like?

These blisters (or a blocked nipple pore) are usually just “milk under your skin.” You can get this when a small piece of your skin grows over a milk pore or duct and causes your milk to back up and blister. It is usually a painful white, clear or yellow dot on your nipple. Pain either seems to be right at the blister or slightly behind it.  These blisters usually are painful and sore for a few days and then simply disappear by themselves.

On the other hand, there may be an obstruction within the milk duct (instead of just skin over the breast milk pores.) It is sometimes just caused by a small dried up piece of breast milk or some solidified milk fat. Many times this happens at the same time as a plugged duct or reoccurring mastitis.

Small Milk Blister on NippleCommon Causes of Milk Blisters

Milk blebs are typically cause by a baby’s improper latch. Then when your baby tries to breastfeed, their sucking is too shallow and it causes extra pressure on a point of the breast which causes the blister.   If your baby tries feeding at a different angle for some reason angle, this can also cause the painful blisters on your nipple or breast.

This can also happen with the use of a breast pump that is not properly fitted.  Using breast shields that are a better fit to your breast size can help you not only express more milk, but also prevent milk blisters when the pump is the cause.

Yeast can be also responsible for a blocked nipple pore. Typically, if your child or you have thrush you may see tiny white spots in your child’s mouth or on your nipple. However, your breasts can get a larger white spot on the nipple due to milk ducts that are blocked.  If you have multiple blisters at the same time…thrush is probably the cause. If you feel a burning sensation as you nurse, this is also a sign that thrush might be an issue.

How Do To Treat It

Treating a milk blister involves the following steps for several days and up to a few weeks (depending on the underlying cause and severity):

  1. Try soaking in a mixture of a small amount of Epson Salt and water.
  2. If possible, try to gently remove skin from the duct.
  3. Place a warm towel on your breast a few minutes before each feeding.
  4. Breastfeed often or use a good quality breast pump often to keep the ducts clear and the milk flowing.
  5. Consult a doctor to get needed medication (if the cause is persistent thrush) to heal completely.

Once you learn the causes or these painful little blisters and clear up the ones that you have, most moms can keep them from coming back.  Thank goodness!

Related Articles You Might Like:

Milk blisters can REALLY hurt! What they look like and what to do about them when breastfeeding.