10 Sep Splinter Removal Tips
Three Ways to Safely Remove Splinters
Splinters are probably the most common foot irritants. Almost everyone has had the experience of getting a tiny sliver of wood caught in their skin. Fortunately, they won’t cause serious damage if you act quickly to remove them.
Where Do Splinters Come From?
You can get splinters from various sources. If you walk barefoot or wear loose sandals, it’s easy to pick up splinters from natural sources and household objects.
Natural sources: Thorns, wood splinters, pine needles, and cactus needles.
Metal: Needles, tacks, fish hooks, and nail parts.
Objects: Broken glass and shards of plastic.
What Happens If You Don’t Remove a Splinter?
Splinters are not dangerous, but it’s important to remove them immediately. If you leave them alone, they can cause serious damage.
- Any puncture in the foot’s skin can invite bacteria and viruses. You could develop fungal nail or other conditions.
- Left in your skin, a splinter can cause a serious infection. This is especially true for people with compromised immune systems and those with diabetes.
- Glass splinters can enter your blood vessels and cause bleeding problems.
How to Safely Remove a Splinter
Fortunately, there are several ways to remove a splinter safely at home. Always begin by washing your hands and feet in warm, soapy water. Finish by applying antibiotic ointment to the area.
This is the most popular method. It’s also the best one to use if part of the splinter is sticking out of your skin.
- Wipe the tweezers with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them.
- Pull the splinter out with the tweezers.
- Pull in the direction that the splinter entered your foot.
Tweezer and Needle
Use this method if the splinter is mostly buried under your skin.
- Sterilize the needle and tweezers with rubbing alcohol.
- Slide the needle gently under the splinter and push the splinter toward the skin’s surface.
- As soon as the splinter appears outside the skin, remove it with the tweezers.
Is there anything duct tape can’t fix? In this case, it even works as first aid for splinters.
- Cut out a square of duct tape.
- Press it on the splinter and rub it to make it stick.
- Leave it on for five minutes.
- Pull the tape off quickly to remove the splinter.
When to See a Foot Care Professional
You should contact a podiatrist in the following situations. These indicate a problem that requires medical intervention.
- The area around the splinter has become infected. If you experience redness, pus or a hot feeling on the skin, you could have a serious infection.
- You have a subungual splinter. These are splinters that lodge under your toenails. They are extremely painful and difficult to remove.
- You have a deep-seated splinter that won’t easily come up to the surface.
How to Prevent Splinters
- Always wear shoes with thick, rubber soles when you walk outdoors.
- Check your feet for splinters when you come inside, especially if you have been walking barefoot.
- Sweep up broken glass, spilled nails and other sharp items immediately. Wear shoes while sweeping.
- Dispose of glass and metal shards safely.
- Keep wooden surfaces like decks and picnic tables smoothly sanded and finished.
Keep Safe from Splinters and Other Foot Troubles
Splinters might seem trivial, but they can be painful. They can also cause serious problems if you don’t remove them. Protect your feet from splinters, remove them quickly and call a podiatrist if you have any complications.
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we know that no problem is too small when it concerns the health of your feet. If you have questions about splinters or any other foot problem, call us to schedule an appointment today.