A splinter is a small foreign object embedded in the skin. Most splinters are wood, but you can also get splinters from metal, plastic or glass. Splinters are a minor injury, but you should remove them immediately. If you leave a splinter in too long, you can get an infection. If you leave a metal splinter in too long, it can rust and cause tetanus. Skin can also heal over if you wait, making removal even harder.
Wash your hands and the area of your skin where the splinter is. Be gentle and pat dry. You don't want to accidentally push the splinter deeper.
Sterilise the tips of the needle and tweezers with rubbing alcohol.
Find the hole in your skin where the splinter went in, and carefully peel some skin away from the splinter. You're simply trying to expose the tip of the splinter.
Use tweezers to pull out the exposed tip of the splinter, and examine the skin area to make sure you removed the entire splinter.
Clean and dry the area again.
Apply antibiotic cream to the wound and cover it with a bandage.
It's often easier if someone else removes a splinter for you.
Seek medical attention if you cannot remove the splinter, or if the wound becomes infected.
Tips and warnings
- It's often easier if someone else removes a splinter for you.
- Seek medical attention if you cannot remove the splinter, or if the wound becomes infected.