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How to take out an embedded splinter

Updated February 21, 2017

You can get a splinter when your hands, feet or other area of skin comes into contact with rough materials, such as unvarnished wooden floors. Use caution to avoid getting splinters. Wear shoes to protect your feet or gloves to protect your hands from rough surfaces. Thorns, briars and even rough pieces of metal can embed themselves under your skin. Seek a doctor's attention if splinters come from metal materials. You may need to receive a tetanus shot if you have not received one in the past 10 years.

Gripping the tweezers in one hand, grab the end of the splinter that is visible above the skin.

Gently pull the splinter out in the same direction that it entered the skin.

Thoroughly cleanse the area with soap and water.

Cleanse the entire area with rubbing alcohol if you are unable to grip a protruding piece of the splinter. Use the tweezers to squeeze and move the splinter until you are able to grip the end with tweezers to remove from the skin.

See a doctor if you are unable to dislodge the splinter on your own. The area may become infected and swollen if the foreign object is not dislodged.

Tip

Soaking the area in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can help push out a splinter that is deeply embedded. Let the afflicted area soak in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes. The bubbling that naturally occurs helps force the splinter upward and out of the skin.

Warning

Removing splinters can be painful. You may also experience a small amount of bleeding from the area when the splinter is removed. Metal splinters may require a tetanus shot if your vaccinations are not up to date.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
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About the Author

Baird Daily is an English instructor. She is published in the "World Literary Review" and has written about music and arts for the "Daily Athenaeum." She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Western Virginia University and is a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky.