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How to Remove Splinters That Won't Surface

By Melissa Morang ; Updated July 27, 2017

A splinter can be painful and lead to an infection, if you are not careful. Some people are even allergic to the splinter's material -- whether its wood, metal, glass or plastic embedded in the skin. Don't be alarmed, however. Most splinters can be removed in the comfort of your home. If the entire splinter is under the skin, you can get it to surface and promptly remove it, if you are cautious and take your time.

Wash your hands carefully to remove dirt and bacteria. Don't forget to clean the back of your hands and under your nails. Wash your hands with plenty of soap, for the amount of time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice -- to allow enough germ-killing time. Rinse your hands, and dry them with a clean paper towel.

Sterilize a needle. Pour rubbing alcohol over a cotton swab. Then wipe the cotton swab over the needle, to remove any germs or bacteria. Place the needle on a clean paper towel to dry.

Clean the area in which the splinter is lodged. Pour rubbing alcohol over a cotton swab. Then wipe the cotton swab over the skin, to cleanse the area and remove any bacteria or germs.

Gently prick the area of skin where the splinter is lodged. Place the needle under the tip of the splinter, and pull the needle in an upward motion until the splinter protrudes from the skin.

Disinfect the tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Pour alcohol onto a cotton swab. Then dab the cotton swab over the tweezers, to remove dirt and bacteria.

Pull the splinter out of the skin, using the tweezers. Simply grasp the splinter with the tweezers, and gently pull it out.

Wash the site where the splinter was embedded, using warm water and soap, to remove any dirt or bacteria dislodged with the splinter.

Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to the splinter site. This will kill any bacteria that may be present and prevent an infection.

Tip

If your splinter remains embedded, try another method to make it surface. Place the splinter site in a bowl of warm water and 1 tbsp. of baking soda. Soak for 5 minutes to soften the skin. Soak the area twice a day for three days. The splinter may work its way to the surface with this method.

Warnings

Seek medical attention if you are unable to remove the splinter at home. Call your doctor if the splinter site becomes inflamed or filled with pus. This may be the sign of an infection.

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