blood tests

3 minute read

10 tips to help you take a finger-prick blood test

By Emily Cameron | Medically reviewed by Danielle Brightman

At-home blood tests are a simple, easy way of gaining insight into your health without any of the hassle of a visit to the doctor. At Numan, we run blood tests that can identify if you have any underlying causes of erectile dysfunction, testing for diabetes, cholesterol and testosterone. We also offer a full health check with our Complete Blood Test that measures important biomarkers to give you an accurate insight into your overall health and wellbeing.

While for most, using an at-home finger-prick blood test is a fairly simple activity, it can be more difficult for others. To help prevent any frustration you may feel, we’ve put together a list of tips to help get the blood flowing and ensure you carry out the test safely and effectively. We've also created a step-by-step video that takes you through the process from start to finish.

1. Take a hot shower or bath

Aside from providing a steamy backdrop for your bathroom karaoke sessions, a hot shower or bath can help improve your blood circulation as it increases your internal temperature. This allows for your blood to flow through your body more easily and can make taking a finger-prick blood sample a less pain-staking experience.

2. Hydrate 

While you should fast (refrain from eating) for 8 hours before you take your test, we recommend gulping down 2 glasses of water 30 minutes before you begin. This will help make sure you’ve got plenty of fluid running through your veins, making it easier to draw blood. It’ll also help ensure you get accurate results, as being dehydrated could affect your readings for biomarkers like cholesterol and kidney function. 

3. Stand upright

When it comes to taking a finger-prick blood sample, gravity helps. Standing upright, with your hand and the vial below waist height can keep the blood flowing in the right direction and make it easier to collect your sample. 

4. Try a little light exercise 

To maximise blood flow, it can help to do some light exercise before you take the test. We’d recommend focussing on the arms and hands with exercises such as swinging your arms in circles for a few minutes. 

5. Wash your hands under hot water 

If taking a hot shower or bath isn’t convenient, washing your hands under hot water is a good alternative. Try to use water that is as hot as you can stand it, as this will help to get the blood flowing as much as possible. The ideal temperature is around 40℃, and it’s best to do this for at least 4 minutes to properly warm you up.

6. Try a different finger 

If one finger just doesn’t want to play along, try moving on to another finger. Our tests include multiple lancets, just in case.

7. Massage the length of your finger

We know it might sound strange, but massaging the length of your finger in a milking motion is key in getting the blood to flow through your hand and out through your fingertip. To do this, gently apply pressure around the base of your finger and slowly move down towards the tip. Repeat the process until drop after drop of blood falls into the vial.

8. Consider asking a friend to help 

Sometimes it takes two to tango, and there’s no shame in asking for someone to help if you’re struggling. They can hold the vial in place while you massage your finger or vice versa. If you think you might feel faint at the sight of blood, it’s especially important to have someone to help out, just in case.

9. Try using the sides of your finger rather than the pad 

Everybody’s different, and every body is different. For example, if you’re an avid guitar player, you might have built up thicker skin on the pad of your finger, making it more difficult to use the lancet and draw blood. If you’re struggling with the pad of your finger, try using the lancet to pierce the side of your fingertip. 

10. If all else fails, get in touch with us 

We’re all human, and at Numan, we understand that things can go wrong when you’re taking a test at home. No fear. Drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to resolve the issue.