This article is co-written by Shari Forschen, NP. Shari Forshen is a registered nurse at the Sanford Health Nonprofit Medical Organization in North Dakota. She received a master's degree in family paramedic from the University of North Dakota. Has been working as a nurse since 2003.
The number of sources used in this article is 8. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
You know what could be more unpleasant than driving a splinter under the skin? Attempts to get her out of there. Some people experience such severe pain that they have to see a doctor. If you do not want to pick your skin and get a splinter or spend money on a doctor’s appointment, use home remedies to safely remove the splinter.
A splinter in the finger - how to pull it out
Human hands - this is the most important tool that performs many diverse actions and movements. Often it is required to pull a splinter out of the finger. It is important to know that the sooner a problem is detected, the easier and faster you will get rid of it.
Advice! Before you start pulling a splinter, you need to steam the skin with a hot bath or compress to make it loose and soft. Then the splinter will come out of the skin easier.
Using tweezers or a needle to remove the splinter suggests that its tip is clearly visible. Otherwise, it will not work to hook and pull the splinter. It is also necessary to prepare a disinfectant solution - alcohol or brilliant green. To better see what is happening, it is recommended to act in bright light and use a magnifying glass.
Procedure at home:
- The skin is pre-steamed, so that the tissues disperse, and the splinter becomes more visible and comes out faster.
- Tweezers or a needle (large sewing or medical from a syringe) should be treated with an alcohol solution.
- Disinfect with alcohol and the skin area in which the splinter is located.
- If tweezers are used, you need to hook the edge of the splinter and try to slowly pull it out.
- If a needle is used, it is necessary to pry off the splinter with the sharp end and try to pull it out of the skin layers.
- The resulting small wound should be treated with a healing ointment, for example, “Bepanten” or “Boro Plus”: then it will heal quickly and without complications.
Ichthyol ointment or Vishnevsky will allow removing a splinter from a finger without a needle. To do this, thickly smear the area of the skin where the splinter is located, and wait 15-20 minutes. Vishnevsky ointment and ichthyol ointment contribute to a good softening of tissues, and also have an elongating effect, which will help a splinter slip out of the layers of the skin in which it lies. However, it is necessary to press on the skin around the splinter so that it comes to the surface. To less injure soft tissue as soon as the tip appears, pick it up with tweezers and pull out the splinter completely.
Advice! If the house has a raiser with a thin nose, it will completely replace the tweezers and will be even more convenient.
Gruel from a small amount of water and soda will facilitate the extraction of splinter from the surface layers of the skin. To do this, briefly leave the mass on the affected area, then try to squeeze out or remove the foreign body with tweezers or a needle. It is important to be careful that the splinter does not go even deeper, otherwise it will be much more difficult to get rid of it.
How to pull out a deep splinter
The splinter penetrates deeply if it is sharp and shallow or is placed under the nails. How to pull out a splinter if it is deep in the foot, heel or nail? The nail is less sensitive to splintering than the skin, most likely it will come out on its own after a while.
Advice! If the splinter deep under the nail causes severe pain or is not visible, then it is better to consult a specialist. A surgeon or a traumatologist can easily and quickly relieve you of discomfort.
If the tip is visible, it will be possible to pull the splinter out from under the nail with a needle. Pre-disinfection of the instrument and the lesion will relieve possible complications. Under a magnifying glass and in good light, a splinter will become better visible, which will accelerate the result. It is necessary to try to pry off the splinter and bring it closer to the edge of the nail plate.
Adhesive tape (tape, tape or tape) will help get rid of brittle and small splinters on the feet and hands, for example, fiberglass, metal shavings, some varieties of plants. Before manipulation, you should wash your hands and the site of the splinter lesion, thoroughly dry your skin with a towel, but do not rub! Next, prepare the necessary piece of adhesive tape and stick it to the area affected by a splinter or splinter. After peeling off the tape, it is necessary to carefully examine it - a splinter should remain on the sticky part.
Using glue, you can pull a deep splinter out of your finger. For this, ordinary glue for paper and cardboard or PVA is suitable. The substance is applied to the area with a splinter, then you should wait about half an hour until the glue dries a little, and pull on the hardened part - slowly, so that the splinter comes out with the substance. Next, you need to remove the remaining glue and make sure that the splinter in the skin is not left. Otherwise, repeat the procedure.
Important! It is forbidden to use superglue to remove splinter!
Hypertonic solution will help get rid of a splinter, which is deep and poorly visible. The product is highly salted hot water. For cooking, take 2-3 tablespoons of salt and dilute in half or a whole glass of boiling water. When the solution stiffens, so that the skin can endure, you need to immerse the area with a splinter in the product or make a hot compress. Next, you need to apply a free bandage and wait until the splinter becomes visible better - then it can be removed with tweezers or a needle.
Useful information: Hot and concentrated saline solution, the medical name is "hypertonic solution", relieves swelling and inflammation, disinfects the skin and reduces pain.
After the splinter has successfully come out, you should wait for the bleeding to stop and treat the remaining wound with medical alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine. If the scratch is superficial, then it will quickly and easily heal. A bactericidal substance - ointment or powder should be applied to a deep wound. If the splinter trace is in the fold area, a bandage bandage is recommended.
When doctor's help is needed
At home, it is better to remove only those splinters that have fallen shallow into the skin. If a foreign body is in the face or neck, litter is in the eyes or respiratory tract, then urgent medical attention is needed. Emergency hospitalization is required if a splinter enters the nerve or muscle, which causes severe pain to a person and restricts movement.
Situations when medical assistance is needed:
- in case of repeated and unsuccessful attempts to independently pull out a splinter,
- splinters in the eyes or in the periocular region,
- if the wound with a splinter is deep and contaminated,
- splinter caused by animals, obtained from meat or fish,
- tetanus vaccination has been carried out for a long time and there is a chance of infection.
Advice! Wood and organic splinters - chips, spines, dry grass, as well as splinters of animal origin - scales, claws, bones and so on - contribute to the development of infection. Splashes of inorganic materials - plastic, glass, metal - are painful in themselves, but they do not provoke an infection in the skin.
If the splinter is not completely removed, then suppuration is very likely. Among the main signs of infection are swelling, discharge, and severe pain, redness, local or general fever. You can’t deal with these symptoms on your own; a doctor’s consultation is needed here.
Without treatment, a small splinter can bring a lot of trouble. It is necessary to get rid of it quickly. If you can’t do this yourself, you should contact a specialist. Timely removed splinter is the prevention of infection and complications, the key to well-being and health.
What to do if a splinter is stuck in a hand
- Before taking any measures to remove the splinter from the finger, you need to thoroughly rinse your hands and all the tools that will be needed to conduct the "operation". This is especially true in cases where a splinter was obtained during dirty work - chopping wood, mopping, working with wood.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Then treat with alcohol the place where the splinter, needle and tweezers stuck. Make a couple of clean napkins. Instead of a regular sewing needle, it is better to use a sterile syringe needle.
How to remove a splinter
But not always at hand are sterile instruments with which you can pull out a splinter. This is especially true for hiking conditions. Here are some simple tips to help you pull out a splinter quickly and painlessly.
- Scotch. This method is suitable for extracting a large number of small splinters. For example, if you were holding glass wool, a cactus, or small wooden objects. Tear off a piece of duct tape and stick it on the affected area. Do not press the tape too tightly to your hand, so you can push the needles even deeper. After that, carefully tear off the adhesive tape - you will see that most of the small splinters remained on the tape. Repeat the procedure several times until you have completely cleaned the skin.
- PVA glue. This method is suitable for baby splinters. It is quite difficult to pull out a splinter in a child - a rare baby will give a needle to prick itself. To pull a splinter out of the finger, you just need to generously lubricate it with glue. When it dries, the glue can be removed with one large layer. If the splinter is not deep, it sticks to the glue and is calmly removed from the skin.
- Soda. If the splinter is deep and it is not possible to pry it, it is necessary that the skin itself gives it to you. To do this, mix baking soda with water to make slurry. Put the pulp on the wound and fix it with a band-aid or bandage. After a few hours, the skin will swell and squeeze out the foreign body. If this does not happen, pulling the splinter out of the soft, swollen skin will be much easier.
- Iodine. If the splinter sits so deep that there is no way to get it, smear the wound with iodine every three hours. The wooden splinter will simply burn out and after a while it will come out. Iodine helps to destroy the acute structure of the splinter, thereby relieving the person from pain.
Folk remedies for the extraction of splinters
- There is an easy way to self-heal splinters using salt water. But it is effective only if it is applied immediately after the splinter is received. Pour water into the glass as hot as you can withstand. Dissolve three tablespoons of salt in water. Dip your finger in the water with a splinter for 20 minutes. After that, dry your finger and apply a sterile dressing. Hot salt water softens the tissues and brings the splinter out.
A splinter is a very unpleasant phenomenon. It is even surprising that such a small spike can bring so much inconvenience. In order not to suffer from pain and discomfort, remove the splinter immediately after it is pierced into your skin. We hope that our simple tips will help you get rid of an annoying splinter.