How to drain a blister

Fitting a ballooning blister into hiking boots isn't easy. Find out how to drain it right.

Foot Blister

The truth is that it’s best to leave a dome-style blister as is—the fluid protects sensitive new skin from infection and further damage. But fitting a ballooning blister into a pair of hiking boots is not only painful, it’s asking for a GM Stadium-like collapse. So 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. Just pull out your emergency sewing kit.

1. Amputate the proximal…just kidding. Cut a short section of thread. Disinfect a needle using boiling water or a flame. And clean the area around the blister with antiseptic, assuming you have some.

2. Thread the needle, and stick it into non-blistered skin a few millimetres from the bubble’s edge.

3. Push the needle just under the skin surface, under the blister wall and into the blister. Make sure it enters the fluid.

4. Carry on out the other side of the blister, pushing the needle under the blister wall again. Exit out through healthy skin.

5. Unholster the thread leaving tails on either side of the blister. The blister should start to drain.

6. You may have to apply a little pressure. The thread will wick the fluid out of the blister, leaving it deflated for hours.

7. Pad around the blister—with a raised donut from a first-aid kit or something similar—and bandage.

8. If the blister starts to fill again, pull the thread back and forth and apply a little pressure. It should start to drain again.