treatment for nipple blisters and thrush


How to Treat Milk Blisters and Thrush Naturally

Do you have a milk bleb that won’t go away?

If you are reading this post then you are in a desperate attempt to treat a painful milk blister on your nipple.

Oh…..the joys of motherhood, aren’t they grand?

You think you have this whole breastfeeding thing down and then boom….this milk blister appears!

Breastfeeding is wonderful but can cause some serious pain in the boob! I’ve had experience with clogged milk ducts, milk blisters, and thrush and I’m not sure which one is worse!

Milk blisters can be incredibly painful and if left untreated for too long can cause even more problems like mastitis!

Mastitis is no picnic, so you want to treat your nipple blister or bleb as soon as possible!

Keep reading to find out how you can make that milk blister burning pain go away, treat milk blebs and thrush at home naturally, and enjoy breastfeeding your baby again!

What Is a Milk Blister?

You’ve probably heard of the term milk blister before or maybe even a bleb, but maybe you aren’t too sure that’s what you have?

To make sure this is what you have, let me break it down for you a bit.

There are a few different types of milk blisters than you can have while breastfeeding your baby. Some are white, yellow, and some can be red or brown.

Here are the differences in milk blisters and common causes for these types of milk blisters or blebs.

1. A milk blister that is caused by a clogged milk duct

This is caused by a clogged nipple pore and usually appears to be white or yellow in color.

Milk lays under the skin where the blocked pore is and forms a blister-like bubble over the area. This is very painful and normally the pain is only in that spot, nowhere else on the breast.

Once you treat the milk blister with the tips below, you’ll need to unclog your milk duct to prevent further milk blisters or problems. Come back after you’ve treated the blister and read this post here to help you naturally unclog a blocked milk duct fast! 👇🏻

Clogged milk duct remedies


2. A milk blister caused by thrush

Milk blisters like this can also be white and patchy. This type of blister is caused by thrush. This is much deeper, under the skin, and usually, more of the breast is in pain, rather than just one spot.

3. A milk blister caused by friction

This type of blister is called a blood blister and is red or brown in color. Many people refer to this blister as a bleb.

This is usually caused by too much friction on the nipple. Too much friction can happen when baby nurses very rough, has a poor latch, or the mother is using the wrong size nipple shield or pump.


Remember, I am not a doctor, only a mother that has experienced all of these breastfeeding issues first hand. For more information, always consult with your doctor or a lactation consultant. To read my full disclosure policy, click here


Treatment for white milk blisters and red blebs

After nursing my three daughters for almost two years with each one, I have been that lucky mom to encounter many of these breastfeeding issues.

I had an incredibly painful milk bleb or blood blister with my second daughter when she was only a week old!

She was a very rough eater and the friction from her nursing caused a milk bleb! I was recovering from a c-section and had pain everywhere while taking care of my toddler and then this happened!

Here is what I did to treat my blood blister and also continue to nurse my baby at the same time!

Saline soak treatment

This sounds incredibly strange but it works!

Get a small cup, I actually used a shot glass because it was the perfect fit for my nipple!

This treatment helped clear up my milk blister in a day! I’m not even kidding!

One full day of repeating this saline soak and I felt so much better!

This salt solution below didn’t burn or irritate my nipple and healed it faster than I thought was possible!

  • Take 8 ounces of warm water and mix 1/2 teaspoon of table salt or Epsom salt into the water
  • Mix around and pour the solution into a shot glass, if you have one on hand, for easy dipping/treatment.
  • Dip your nipple into this solution for 2-3 minutes after each breastfeeding session or whenever possible.
  • Once you are done, pat your nipple dry and let it air out for a few minutes.
  • Continue to do this several times a day until you see and feel some relief!

Apply heat

Grab yourself a hot washcloth and apply it to your nipple, without burning yourself, of course! Do this immediately after the saline soak and then nurse your baby or pump.

Continue these steps until the blister opens up and is able to release some milk.

If you are able to nurse rather than use a pump, it is a much better way to fix the blister.

Breastfeed your baby with a nipple shield

If you want to continue to nurse your baby on that side of your breast, you can use a nipple shield to help you through this phase!

A nipple shield was what helped me continue to breastfeed my baby while I had a milk blister and it was a miracle!


You will not want to use a nipple shield if that was what caused the blister in the first place!

Using the wrong size nipple shield or pump can cause blood (friction) milk blisters! If this is what caused your blister, buy a bigger size for your nipple or a better pump attachment and continue with the salt treatments and try again when you have a more comfortable fit.

If you are in so much pain you can’t nurse at all, pump your milk on that breast, and nurse your baby on the other side.

Nipple shields can be a blessing to some mothers and to others cause more breastfeeding issues than they started with!

For more information about nipple shields, read this post on the pros and cons of using a nipple shield to see if it’s right for you! Also, consult your lactation consultant if you have one for any questions and concerns!

In some cases, a nipple shield can be wonderful and help a breastfeeding mom tremendously! 👇

Nipple shields for sore nipples


Here are some of my favorite nipple shields to use below:


Essential oils for nipple blister or thrush

After applying heat, your nipples may feel a bit dry. Take a cotton ball and apply some coconut oil to your nipple. The coconut oil will help treat the nipple blister and soothe the dry area.

Coconut oil is an effective anti-fungal and will also help treat the nipple blister if was caused by thrush. Coconut oil is also great for cracked or sore nipples while breastfeeding.

So many wonderful uses for coconut oil, always good to have on hand!


Milk Blister or Thrush?

Are you still confused if it is a milk blister or thrush causing your breast pain?

A milk blister can be caused by thrush but you can also have thrush without a milk blister.

How can you tell the difference?

As mentioned above, a milk blister will have a white covering of skin over the part of the nipple. If you notice that you have more than one blister at once, says to suspect thrush as the cause.

The milk blister must be treated first even if it was caused by thrush. Once the milk blister is treated with a saline solution and a few days later you notice you are STILL in pain but your nipples are bright pink instead, this means the thrush is still present!

Having thrush alone looks different. Thrush is very painful and your nipples are a bright pink color. You can also look inside your baby’s mouth to see if they have any thrush patches as an indicator of what’s causing your nipple pain.

Once you treat the nipple blister and have a recurrence of thrush, here is an excellent way to treat thrush and make it go away forever!

Grapefruit seed extract!

Yes, this is magic! My firstborn had a few cases of thrush and our doctor prescribed an antibiotic for her but it didn’t seem to help that much.

Once I discovered using GSE, it was a game-changer for me! The best part is, it was all-natural and it worked!

GSE is safe to use for breastfeeding mothers and babies. This was amazing because I didn’t need to worry about what was going on in my nipples or in my baby’s mouth!

Not to mention, there are so many things that grapefruit seed extract can treat, so you’ll get your money’s worth!

Treatment for Thrush

  • Be sure to use drinking or purified water that isn’t tap.
  • Pour one ounce of purified water into a cup
  • Add 10-15 drops of GSE into the water and mix
  • Dip a cotton ball or q-tip into the mixture and swab on your infected nipple. Also, dip a cotton swab and rub it inside your baby’s mouth wherever there are thrush patches that you can get to.
  • Continue to do this every hour until you notice a difference

For more information on using grapefruit seed extract, click here. 

**UPDATED 2020


GSE was always my go-to and it worked fast and was all-natural, easy, and great to use!

However, I just had my fourth baby and again we both encountered thrush! He first had a horrible diaper rash and nothing worked on it that our doctor prescribed! I finally combined Burt’s Bees diaper cream and monistat 7 and it did the trick!

But…I still had it on my nipples and I couldn’t use the diaper cream mixture on myself because he wouldn’t be able to nurse anymore.

This was by far the worst case of nipple thrush I’ve ever had! So, I reached for my GSE and it helped the situation but it did not completely cure it as quickly as it did with my daughter! I had to try something else and I came across Gentian Violet.

This is the best resource I found on using gentian violet. I ordered it from Amazon and literally applied it that first night and it helped so much! I had to use it for the next three days and my thrush was completely gone! The pain from this nipple thrush was so much worse than what I had with my daughter and that’s because my son refused to let me nurse him with a nipple shield. I truly believe that the GSE will work fine as long as you let your nipple take a break and either pump or use a nipple shield. My son wasn’t letting that happen!

However, when I used the gentian violet, the pain decreased so much and I was still able to nurse him from that breast. It was safe to use for both of us and gave me the pain relief I needed to continue nursing him!

I will warn you, there are some cons to using gentian violet which is why it was my LAST resort!

  • It is VERY MESSY, apply with a cotton swab and put on nipples very carefully
  • It stains and does not come out of clothing or pretty much anything!
  • It will turn your baby’s mouth purple so you’ll either have a lot of explaining to do…or just tell people he ate a purple marker and leave it at that! lol
  • You should not use it on you or your baby for more than 4 days, you should see immediate relief once using it as well!

Click the photo below for more information:

Other treatments for thrush:

If mom and baby are both battling thrush, mom should take a good probiotic which will also help her kick the thrush to the curb. She can also have her baby take a probiotic too. Here are some favorites below:

Watch your diet

If thrush is causing your milk blisters and overall nipple pain, then take a look at your diet. Cutting down on any sugars that are unnecessary in your diet will also help the thrush go away.

Other essential oils for thrush

I have read that Thieves and tea tree oil can also help treat thrush but you will have to dilute it first with a carrier oil like coconut oil before applying it.

I love my essential oils but I will be honest with you, if you try the grapefruit seed extract first for a few days, I doubt you’ll ever need to use your essential oils.

That’s how confident I am in the GSE! It works and it’s completely safe, so give that a try first before you test out your oils!

Many mothers ask about oregano oil because it is a known anti-fungal essential oil. However, it is pretty strong oil and after reading this article, I’d stay away from it until there’s more research done just to be safe for both breastfeeding mama and baby.


I hope these tips were able to help other moms relieve their pain and treat milk blisters and thrush naturally! Breastfeeding is an amazing gift to give your children, however, sometimes dealing with problems such as plugged milk ducts, thrush, and milk blebs that won’t go away can cause headaches and pain for us mamas at a time we don’t need them!

Hopefully, these treatments helped some of you continue to breastfeed your babies pain-free and enjoy this precious time you have with them again!

You may also be interested in:

Breast pump essentials

Pumping tips





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