Splinters happen once a foreign object usually a piece of wooden fragment becomes wedged under the surface of the skin. Splinters are usually small but they can be aching and also difficult to remove.
How to get rid of splinters
- Before removing splinters, wash hands and the affected area using warm water and soap to lessen the risk of spreading bacteria that can trigger an infection. Wash hands with mild soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and the affected area using an antibacterial soap. Dry the hands thoroughly and the area around the splinter before removing it.
- Soak the affected area with splinters in a mixture of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda. Soak the affected area in the solution for at least 2 times every day to make the splinter move closer to the surface of the skin.
- Sterilize the tweezers using rubbing alcohol to minimize the risk of infection and eliminate bacteria that can cause infection. Soak tweezers in a bowl filled with rubbing alcohol for a few minutes. Wipe the tweezers using sterile cotton.
- Use a magnifying glass and stay in an area with good lighting when removing the splinter using the tweezers. This helps spot the splinter more clearly and minimizes the risk of injuring the affected area further.
- If the splinter is covered by a flap of skin, use a sterilize needle to break and lift the skin over the splinter. This makes it easier to grab the splinter and remove it. If the splinter is embedded deep in the skin, seek medical help immediately to prevent further injuring the affected area.
- Once the tip of the splinter is already exposed, grasp it near the surface of the skin using the tweezers. Gently pull out the splinter in the same direction that it was embedded. If part of the splinter breaks off, seek medical help immediately.
- Fragile splinters such as plants or fiberglass can be removed using tape. Masking tape, duct tape or electrical tape can be used in removing the splinter.
- Apply the tape to the area where the splinter is embedded and press it firmly to make the splinter stick to the tape. Peel away slowly in the same direction the splinter was embedded in the skin. As the tape is pulled, the splinter should stick to the tape and come out of the skin. Check the tape if splinters adhered to the tape. If only part of the splinter is removed, repeat the process.
- Once the splinter is removed, disinfect the affected area using antibacterial ointment at least 2 times a day to minimize the risk of infection. Cover the area using a bandage until it is totally healed.