How to Drain a Blister

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As unpleasant as it is to simply have a blister, some may find the act of draining one to be even worse. But while it may seem a little gross, the process is very safe and typically painless. Once the pressure of a blister has been relieved, the healing can begin and the pain is greatly marginalized.

Things You'll Need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Sharp pin or sewing needle
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Adhesive bandage

Dampen a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol by placing the cotton ball over the open bottle spout and briefly turning the bottle upside down. Use this cotton ball to clean the blister and the surrounding skin.

Dampen a second cotton ball using the same method from the step 1. Use this cotton ball to wipe your pin or needle completely clean and sterilize it in the process. Make sure the entire needle is thoroughly wiped with the alcohol.

Place the point of the needle against the edge of the blister, right where the skin begins to form a raised bubble. Very gently press the needle into the blister from the side, not downward. When you feel the needle poke through the skin and into the fluid-filled area, gently pull it back out.

Apply gentle pressure to the blister's "bubble" with a dry cotton ball so that the remaining fluid trapped inside will ooze out of the hole you created with the needle. Be careful not to peel away the layer of skin covering the blister as you do this.

When all of the fluid has been drained, dampen another cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol and clean the area again. This will sting slightly, so be prepared.

After the last application of alcohol dries, dab a little bit of antibacterial ointment onto the area. This will help safeguard against infection.

Cover the drained blister with an adhesive bandage. Leave the bandage in place for at least two days while the blister heals.

Tips & Warnings

  • One of the best things you can do to help a drained blister heal is to leave the blistered skin intact. Make the smallest hole possible and be careful not to tear the skin.
  • Prevent foot and hand blisters before they start by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and cushioned gloves during heavy lifting and repetitive labor.
  • If your blister is especially red or painful, it could be infected. Possible infections should be examined by a medical professional.

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