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Removing Splinters - Forrest Health
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    Removing Splinters

    Topic Overview

    Before using tweezers or a needle, try using cellophane tape to remove a splinter. Simply put the tape over the splinter, then pull the tape off. The tape will stick to the splinter and remove it painlessly. If tape doesn't work:

    • Wash your hands well with soap and water.
    • Grasp the end of the splinter with clean tweezers, and gently pull it out.
    • If the splinter is embedded in the skin, clean a needle with alcohol and make a small hole in the skin over the end of the splinter.
    • Lift the splinter with the tip of the needle until it can be grasped with the tweezers and pulled out.
    • Do not wet or soak the splinter because it will be harder to remove in one piece.
    • After the splinter has been removed, clean the wound and watch for any signs of infection.

    You may need medical care if the splinter:

    • Is very large.
    • Is deeply embedded in the skin.
    • Cannot be easily removed.
    • Is in the eye.
    • Broke off and part of it remains in the wound or if you are uncertain if the splinter has been removed.

    Related Information


    Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    H. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine
    Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

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