A deeply embedded splinter can really take away your mental and physical peace despite its size and harmlessness. If you come to think of it, what can a splinter really do to you? It is a harmless piece of something, well, that could be wood or glass or anything else that has found a home in your porous skin. It punctures your skin and just doesn't budge when you try to take that thorn out. Do you know, splinters can really be harmful because they carry the risk of infections and inflammations? So never leave a splinter unattended, for it to be dispelled by your body on its own. I remember trying to get splinters out of my skin, on several occasions, as a kid. It was pretty painful! How do you remove a splinter? I am guessing, you try to squeeze it out. That is what I used to do too until I found out that squeezing is the worst method of removing an entrenched splinter. If three-fourth of the splinter is already under your skin, squeezing is just going to push it down further inside.
How to Remove a Splinter
Before you proceed, you need to wash the affected area with warm water and an anti-bacterial wash. This step helps to prevent any infections that may be caused due to the splinter.
The glue is used for peeling to remove a splinter. It is very easy to use and seldom effective. Pour some glue over your skin and let it dry. Then, peel it off. The glue will probably grab hold of the splinter too and pull it out as you peel away. You can also alternate it with a tape, although I prefer using a glue as it reaches all the crevices. White glue is recommended for this purpose.
Using baking soda helps to soften the skin and bring the splinter to the surface, so that it is easier to remove completely. Make a thick paste of water and baking soda. Apply it on the splinter and surrounding areas. Leave it on for 24 hours. Now, extract it using a pair of tweezers. You may cover the area using a dressing and change it 2 to 3 times a day. You can also use Epsom salt in place of baking soda.
This another method that loosens up the skin around the splinter so it becomes easier to pull it out. It also acts as a disinfectant. Ran out of hydrogen peroxide? Use spirit or alcohol in its place and perform the same step.
This is one of the most widely used methods to extract a splinter, and also the most effective one. After using all the above tactics, if you still haven't been able to get rid of the splinter, try tweezers. A part of the splinter must be protruding out of your skin in order to grab hold of it with the tweezers and gently pull it out. Else you might end up breaking off the exposed part of the splinter and further push it inside.
Soak the affected body part in vinegar for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Then, gently try to pull out the splinter. If it does not pop out, soak the part again in warm water for few minutes and then in vinegar again. Many people swear by this method as a painless technique for removing deeply embedded splinter.
Apply an Ichthammol ointment 20%, twice daily, to the affected area. Keep it covered. It helps to 'draw out' the splinter. Avoid contact with eyes and keep away from metallic surfaces. Also, do not stay in temperatures exceeding 86 °F. Don't want to use chemicals? You can substitute it with a mixture of honey and turmeric powder!
Just put a piece of bacon over the affected area and leave overnight. The salt will shrink the skin whereas the grease will bring the splinter out considerably, so it easy to remove.
Alternatively, you may also use a bread soaked in milk, onion juice or castor oil. They all work equally well. A splinter is a foreign agent to your body and you must immediately take steps to remove it. There could be a slim possibility of getting infected by a splinter carrying a HPV-2 virus and you could develop an infection just like the Tree Man after he got a cut on his skin! If after removing the splinter, your skin starts to bleed, immediately apply an anti-bacterial solution to disinfect skin and prevent infections. Cover it with a Band-Aid or Neosporin ointment to quicken the healing process. Many people are comfortable using the hot needle method to remove a splinter. Be absolutely sure of your capability to remove it as excessive squeezing or pulling may also lead to pushing the splinter deeper into the skin. If all else fails, visit your doctor to remove the splinter, especially if the splinter is embedded under your nail. He will extract the splinter out through an incision. You might also be prescribed a tetanus injection to combat any likelihood of an infection.