How to Remove a Thorn Stuck in a Foot

Updated February 21, 2017

Certain varieties of flowers, trees and shrubs grow thorns, which break and fall to the ground. A casual stroll through a park or backyard can lead to a thorn piercing through the skin of the foot. This is painful and can cause an infection. Removing the thorn immediately from the foot is essential to prevent infection.

Dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol to disinfect the tweezers. Wipe the tweezers with the cotton ball and place the tweezers on a clean paper towel until use.

Wash hands with soap and warm water to remove dirt and germs and dry with a towel. Avoid touching the wound with dirty hands, which can lead to infection.

Wash the wound with soap and warm water. Gently pat the foot dry with a towel to avoid rubbing, which can irritate the wound.

Grab at the base of the thorn with tweezers and slowly pull the thorn out of the foot. If the entire thorn is embedded, then use a sterilised sewing needle to break the skin. Slide the needle between the top layer of the skin and the thorn. Carefully pull up to break the skin. Grab the exposed thorn with the tweezers and lift out.

Wash the area with soap to remove remaining pieces of thorn and pat dry with a towel. Add antibiotic ointment to the area and cover with an adhesive bandage to prevent infection.


Consult a physician if the thorn cannot be removed or the area becomes infected.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels
  • Hand soap
  • Towels
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing needle
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Adhesive bandage
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About the Author

Meredith Burgio began writing professionally in 2010. She has written for "VOX" magazine, "RELEVANT Magazine" and "Jefferson City Magazine." Burgio has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.