A splinter is a small piece of a foreign item that breaks away from the main object and gets embedded into the skin. In the case of a metal splinter, potential ways of getting the splinter include handling a metal object, metalworking or even touching a metal object that has minor breaks or cracks. When you get a splinter, the sensation of an annoying prickle or pain occurs, letting you know that something is under the skin. Metal splinters must be removed as soon as possible to minimise the risk of infections that can occur due to the break in the skin.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Magnifying glass
- Warm water
- Antibacterial ointment
Look at the location where you feel the splinter. See if the splinter is sticking out of the skin or is pushed into the skin completely. In the case of very small metal splinters, you might need a magnifying glass to see it.
Soak the area of your body with the splinter in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. According to the website Best Home Remedies, soaking it in warm water will help make the skin pliable for the removal of the splinter.
Sterilise the tweezers in alcohol for 15 minutes. For a metal splinter that sticks out of the skin, take the cleaned tweezers and squeeze it shut around the part of the splinter that is not embedded into the skin. Hold the metal splinter firmly and pull the tweezers away from the skin in the direction the splinter went in, if possible. This will prevent it from breaking. The metal splinter should pull free from the skin.
Sterilise the needle in alcohol for 15 minutes. Wash the area with the splinter and your hands with soap and water. For any splinter that is embedded completely in the skin, you'll need to dig it out. Gently break the skin above the metal splinter. If the splinter sticks out after breaking the skin, pull it out with the tweezers. If not, angle the needle slightly to the side of the splinter and carefully push the splinter out of the skin with the sharp point until you can use the tweezers.
Wash the area where the splinter was removed with soap and water and then put an antibacterial ointment over the wound. Metal splinters can sometimes result in infections, especially if the area starts bleeding after the splinter is removed. The antibacterial ointment will minimise the risk of infections.
Tips and warnings
- For very small splinters that do not get embedded past the first layer of skin, put white glue such as a child's school glue over the area with the splinter, and allow it to dry. Peel the glue away and the small splinters will come out with the glue.
- If a metal splinter gets into your eye, do not rub or press on your eye -- seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to remove a metal splinter from your eye because you might cause more damage. Instead, allow a doctor to remove it.
- Seek medical attention if the splinter breaks off while removing it.
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