How to: drain a blister safely

We all get them, but with this trick, a thread and a needle they don't have to ruin your day

When it comes to blisters anything is better for your long term health than popping it. The fluid protects sensitive new skin from infection and further damage. But fitting a ballooning blister into a pair of running shoes or hiking boots is not only painful, it’s asking for a collapse. Just popping the blister and draining it can lead to an infection and slower healing. What you want is to drain the blister, keep it from refilling and keep it from popping. No easy task. But there is a solution to this conundrum. Pull out your emergency sewing kit and find a sewing needle, thread (red always looks toughest) and a cutting utensil. Now:

1. Amputate proximal…just kidding.
2. Cut a short section of thread.
3. Disinfect the needle and thread using boiling water or a flame. And clean the area around the blister with antiseptic.
4. Snap on a pair of medical gloves.
5. Thread the needle.
6. Stick the needle into non-blistered skin a few millimeters from the bubble’s edge.
7. Push the needle, just under the skin surface, under the blister wall and into the blister. Make sure it enters the fluid.
8. Carry on out the other side of the blister, pushing the needle under the blister wall again.
9.Exit pulling the needle out through healthy skin.
10. Unholster the thread leaving tails on either side of the blister. The blister should start to drain. You may have to apply a little pressure. The thread will wick the fluid out of the blister, leaving it deflated for hours.
12. Pad around the blister with a raised donut and Band Aid.  11. If the blister starts to fill again, pull the thread back and forth and apply a little pressure. It should start to drain again.



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