What can I do about my 14-month-old's swollen, dry thumb?
Repeated cycles of moisture followed by evaporation of that moisture leads to excessive drying, redness, and cracking of the skin. Obviously, the ideal "treatment" of your son's condition will occur naturally when he stops the thumb-sucking behavior. In the meantime, keep the thumb well moisturized with a thick moisturizing cream, and be sure to see his doctor if there are any scabs, oozing areas, or pus bumps, which could represent secondary infection with bacteria or yeast. You could also try to substitute a pacifier for the thumb, an option that works for some children but not others. Use of the pacifier can then be gradually weaned as desired.