Tips to Remove a Splinter

Written by charmiane wilson
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Tips to Remove a Splinter
Playtime is a common time for kids to encounter splinters. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Fingertips and feet seem to be the most frequent locations for splinters to sink in. Jagged slivers of wood, plastic or glass can cause pain and, potentially, infection. Signs of possible infection include swelling, excessive redness or pain following removal of the splinter. If the splinter is too deep in your skin. you may need to have it removed by your doctor using a scalpel. For splinters visible, you can use effective home methods. Clean your hands before attempting any removal, but don't get the location of the splinter wet. Wetting the splinter can make it hard to extract in a single piece.

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Tape

Use tape on superficial splinters. For deeply embedded slivers, use other more advisable methods. Press a piece of cellophane tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Web MD suggests trying this method before trying other means of removal. Other sources ,including the Farmer's Almanac, say other types of tape can also be effective. They include duct tape, masking tape and Sellotape.

Tweezers

Sterilise a pair of tweezers by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol. Use the tweezers to grip the exposed tip of the splinter. Use a slow and gentle motion to pull the splinter out of your skin.

Sewing Needle

A sewing needle can work on splinters with no exposed edge. Sterilise your needle with rubbing alcohol. Make a small hole in the skin above the splinter; use the needle's sharp tip. Lift the splinter from your skin with the needle tip until you expose it and can pinch it up and remove it with your fingers or sterilised tweezers.

Potato Slices

Cut a potato into oval slices. Place a skinless piece of potato over the splinter. Wait 10 to 20 minutes, then check on the splinter. Once you remove the slice the splinter should come out of your skin along with the potato. You may have to repeat this method, leaving the potato on your skin as long as overnight. For overnight treatment, use a bandage to secure the vegetable to your skin.

Baking Soda Paste

Sometimes you can feel a splinter under your skin even though it is small or seemingly invisible. In this instance, use baking soda paste. Mix together 1/4 tsp of baking soda with enough water to create a paste consistency. Add the water a few drops at a time to avoid making the paste too watery. This paste will make your skin swell slightly, forcing the splinter out of your skin in the process. Apply a bandage over the top of the area and leave it in place for 24 hours. After taking off the bandage, you may be able to pluck the splinter out with your fingers. You may need to use the needle method to remove the splinter. You also may have to repeat the paste method.

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