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 Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine
MedscapeReference. Foreign Body Removal, Wound.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/14/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Splinters
First Aid Kits
Information about what you need in a first aid kit for your home, travel, and how to gather all of the necessary supplies to be prepared for a medical emergency...learn more >>
A puncture wound is caused by an object piercing the skin such as nails, glass, pins, or other sharp objects. A puncture wound can become infected if not treate...learn more >>
Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by contamination of wounds from the bacteria Clostridium tetani, or the spores they produce that live in the soil, and a...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Splinters: