Lots of people pop their blisters with needles. Usually sewing needles! A better option would be a hypodermic needle. They’re sterile for a start, unlike sewing needles. I was asked recently, how to pop a blister without using a needle. I’m sure there is more than one person out there wondering how to pop their blisters without the stock-standard safety pin or needle. So here goes.
Types of pins and needles for blister popping
But first, it would be remiss of me not to explain the different types of needles used to pop blisters. People commonly use sewing needles, sewing pins, safety pins and hypodermic needles. Out of all of these, the hypodermic needle is best. Here’s why.
Hypodermic needles are sterile, individually-packaged, and the sharp end is covered in a protective sheath. So they’re great to carry in a blister kit and store once used. Sewing needles, pins and safety pins are not. The hypodermic needle leaves a slightly bigger hole in the blister roof too, which helps more blister fluid drain out and not heal over as quickly. You’d be surprised how quickly the hole heals over.
Be that as it may, for some reason, you’d prefer not to use a needle. Perhaps you don’t have one; perhaps you don’t have the right one; or perhaps you have a needle phobia.
What should you look for in a blister popping implement?
Whatever you use, make sure it’s sterile. Your best option is a scalpel blade and my personal favourite (see video below from 4:20 min for technique). Scalpel blades are individually packaged and sterile. Discard into a sharps container after a single use, or immediately and carefully wrap in his foil covering.
If you can’t use one of these, the next best thing to do is ensure it is disinfected by rubbing it over with some alcohol-based hand sanitiser, bleach or something similar.
Heat it up
You may choose to hold it over a flame to kill any bacteria. But it’s not a matter of just warming it up. Similarly, not any old flame will do. It’s got to be a blue flame, not yellow. The link below will explain why.
Other sharp implements to pop a blister without a needle
You can use something else sharp and unsterile, like scissors or a pocket knife. Heck, you could rip it open with your teeth if you like. But you’d be mad too because you’ll risk it getting infected. Some people don’t rate blister infection as a big deal or they see it as unlikely. Most blisters don’t get infected. But when they do, it’s nasty. Please read this article about blister infection and at least become informed on the subject.
Don’t squeeze your blister like a pimple – especially on the skin of the soles and around the toenails. This skin here is much thicker and simply, the skin probably won’t break. All you’ll do is traumatise the area further.
The Sterile Blister Lance Pack
We’ve packaged the very basics of blister lancing and blister treatment in our Sterile Blister Lance Pack. It has two hypodermic needles and two scalpel blades. That’s four lancing episodes. Plus enough antispetic, dressings and acillary products for four separate blister treatments.
If you want to pop a blister without a needle, please just use something sterile – like a sterile scalpel blade. Use it just once, then discard safely into a sharps container. Don’t be silly, like these guys (below).