Splinters can be very painful. However, in some cases, you can remove them at home. Even so, there are a few things you should do before trying to remove splinters on your own. If a small piece of wood hurts the skin, it can sometimes become embedded. However, it can happen with other materials as well, but do not worry; I have prepared a few easy-to-follow guidelines to remove them safely.
Before moving forward, please see a doctor if the wound is already infected. It is best to seek medical attention if the problem is out of hand. Without further ado, here is how to safely remove splinters at home:
How to remove a splinter
Always wash your hand before trying to remove them. Punctured skin is prone to infection, and you should minimize these risks. Here are some tools you can use to remove splinters:
- duct tape
Sometimes, a combination of tools will work better, but let us take things slowly.
Tweezers are a great tool to use if the splinter is not very deeply embedded in the skin. You can simply pinch the fragment of wood and pull it out gently. However, before proceeding, please disinfect the tweezers thoroughly with alcohol.
If the splinter is deeper into the skin, you can use this method to remove it. Don’t be afraid of the pain; you will barely feel a thing as this method is very effective. However, before proceeding, please disinfect the skin. Apply the tape over the zone and wait about half an hour. Pull off the tape and check to see if the area is clear of splinters. It may sometimes require a second try.
Needle and tweezers
Use a needle only if the splinters are very deeply embedded in the skin and you can no longer see any fragment to pinch. Slowly remove the skin around the wood with the needle. After exposing the splinter, use tweezers to remove it. However, before proceeding, please disinfect both the tweezers and the needle.
Although we don’t have any medical records on hand for this one, many people have successfully removed a splinter using a solution. A few solutions seem to simply draw out splinters if you soak your skin in them. Here are a few liquids that can do the trick:
- hydrogen peroxide
- lavender oil
- warm water
- baking soda with water
- Epsom salt with water
All you have to do is prepare one of the above liquids and soak the affected skin area for a couple of minutes. Then, use some tweezers to pull out the piece of wood once within a pinching point.
Extra bits of advice
To avoid the risk of infection:
- Wash your hands.
- Disinfect all the tools you are planning to use.
- Pick a removal method based on the location, direction, and deepness of the splinters.
- Clean the skin area after removal.
It is best to use natural or intense light in order to see the asses and remove the splinter. It would be very helpful if you had a magnifying glass at home, but it is not always necessary.
When splinters puncture your skin, one thing to keep in mind is to refrain from squeezing or pinching your affected skin zone. Otherwise, you risk breaking the splinters into small pieces or causing them to go even deeper into the skin.
When to seek medical attention
Always check in with a doctor if:
- the splinters are very big
- you see discharge around the wound
- the are swells
- the skin around the splinter is warm
- the wound is unbearable
- there is redness or discoloration around the area
- the splinter is too deep
- if the splinter is close to the eye