Splinters can lead to infection, so it's important to know how to remove a splinter quickly and safely. A splinter is a thin, narrow piece of wood or other hard material that gets embedded just under the skin. They can be very painful, but are usually simple to remove.
To remove a splinter, you will need:
- Soap and water
- Rubbing alcohol
- Straight pin or sharp needle
- Antibiotic ointment
- Wash the area with the splinter using soap and warm water. This will help disinfect the area and soften the skin, making it easier to remove the splinter.
- Sterilize tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Grasp the end of the splinter with the tweezers and gently pull it out. If the splinter is too deep to reach with tweezers, continue to the next step.
- Gently open up the skin above the splinter using a sterilized straight pin or sharp needle. This will make the end of the splinter more accessible. Now pull it out using tweezers, as normal.
- Wash the wound again with soap and warm water. Dry well and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage to the cut.
Tips & Warnings:
- You may need a doctor's help to remove a splinter if the splinter is embedded under your nail or too far in the skin for you to grasp.
- Splinters cause infections because they push bacteria under the skin. Splinters from plants or animals, such as thorns or spines, may be poisonous or put you at greater risk of infection. If the area around the splinter becomes red, swollen, filled with pus or very painful, those may be signs of an infection. See a doctor for treatment.