It can happen when you least expect it: perhaps you’re building a wooden deck in your backyard or strolling along a pier when you grab the wooden handrail. One moment, everything seems normal, and the next, you feel a sharp pain.
You just cut yourself. Even though getting a splinter isn’t always a traumatic event, it can still be uncomfortable and painful. So learn how to get a splinter out by reading below.
Furthermore, even though getting a splinter isn’t particularly dangerous if it isn’t treated right away, it may become infected.
Small pieces of material called splinters can get embedded in the skin. We will describe when to seek medical attention and offer basic splinter removal techniques.
How to Get a Splinter Out at Home
As soon as you or your child touches that ancient wooden bench, a tiny piece of wood slips into your skin and causes surprisingly intense pain.
Thankfully, splinters are simple to remove with the right equipment and methods. Here are some tips dermatologists recommend using to remove a splinter:
1. After Cleaning, Pat Dry the Area
Wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water to prevent infection, then pat dry with a gentle touch.
Examine the Splitter, use a magnifying glass to determine the size and direction of the splinter if it is very small.
2. Use Tweezers to Remove the Splinter
If there is any protrusion of the splinter, you can remove it carefully with tweezers. First, sanitize the tip of the tweezers with rubbing alcohol.
Pull the splinter out in the same direction that it entered the skin to remove it next. Never squeeze out a splinter as this may break it into smaller, more challenging to-remove fragments.
3. A Tiny Needle Can be Used to Remove the Splinter
If the splinter is fully embedded under the skin, it can be removed with a tiny needle. First, sanitize the needle and tweezers with rubbing alcohol.
Subsequently, examine the region under a magnifying glass and gently puncture the skin at one end of the splinter using the needle.
You may need to enlist the help of a friend or relative for this. Continue gently pushing out a portion of the splinter with the needle. Once one end is sticking out, carefully remove the splinter with the tweezers.
4. Apply Petroleum Jelly Once You’ve Cleaned
After the splinter has been removed, clean the affected area with soap and water and apply petroleum jelly. Cover the injured area with a bandage and allow it to heal.
While the majority of splinters can be safely removed at home, some may require medical attention.
See your doctor or a board-certified dermatologist if the splinter is very large, deep, in your eye or near it, or if the area becomes infected.
What Should I Do After I Get a Splinter?
The first thing you should do if you get a splinter is wash your skin with soap and water. This will lessen the chance of infection and aid in the removal of bacteria.
Next, examine the splinter closely. For this step, a magnifying glass or a phone app can be helpful. Be aware of:
Examine your skin to see if any part of the splinter is protruding. This is where you should grab it to take it out.
If there are no protruding parts, check to see if they appear near the skin’s surface. If it is, or if you can feel it easily, there’s little chance of you getting it out at home.
Verify the splinter’s direction. Inside your skin, is it vertical or horizontal? Try to determine the angle at which it penetrated your epidermis. You want to travel in the same direction as soon as you take it out.
Taking out a splinter by yourself isn’t always simple. If you have an additional pair of hands to assist, removal might go more smoothly.
Risks of Not Removing a Splinter
One can usually leave a small splinter in place if it is near the skin’s surface and does not hurt. It will usually fall off naturally with time.
However, an infection might be indicated if there is discomfort, skin discoloration, swelling, or pus near the splinter. Here, it is best to get in touch with a medical provider so they can remove the splinter and handle any infections.
People should remove as soon as possible wood splinters, thorns, spines, and vegetative foreign objects because they contain substances that can cause infection and inflammation. Splinters made of glass, metal, or plastic are less dangerous.
Besides harboring foreign objects, wounds can harbor bacteria that cause tetanus, an uncommon illness that can be lethal if left untreated. Tetanus symptoms include fever, painful muscle spasms, and difficulty opening the mouth.
Splinters are a common, painful injury that is manageable at home. One should take the appropriate safety measures, like washing their hands and disinfecting any equipment, before extracting a splinter.