Home Remedies for Splinters
Take the following steps to remove a splinter.
- Using a pair of tweezers, grab the protruding end of the splinter and pull it out along the direction it entered. Wash the area with soap and water.
- At times, splinters may be fully embedded in the skin. Use a small needle sterilized in boiling water. Clean the skin with an antiseptic (such as Betadine or alcohol). Use the needle to gently and partially dislodge the splinter, which may then be removed fully with tweezers. Wash the area with soap and water.
- If a splinter appears to be too deep to attempt removal at home, see your doctor. If you have only been able to remove a portion of the splinter and foreign material remains embedded in the skin, the doctor should be able to remove the rest.
The best treatment for a splinter is to remove it.
Deep splinters may require the physician to numb the area, and then make an incision with a scalpel in order to remove the splinter.
The doctor attempts to remove all fragments of the foreign body and cleanse the area.
If the splinter is underneath the fingernail, the physician may have to remove a portion of the fingernail to allow removal of the entire splinter.
If the patient has an infection, the doctor will clean the area and explore the infected area to remove the splinter.
If there are signs of inflammation, the doctor will either explore the area or remove the inflamed area with a scalpel. This ensures removal of the splinter.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
If the doctor feels that the patient's wound is too large to leave open, he or she may use one of several methods (such as stitches) to close it. If the wound is infected, the doctor probably won't suture it closed.
Depending on whether the patient's vaccinations are current, they may require a tetanus shot.
Most splinters are removed easily at home, and no infection develops. If splinters are not removed, they may become inflamed and lead to infection.
Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology
MedscapeReference. Foreign Body Removal, Wound.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016
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