Health Tip: Removing a Splinter

Get it out safely

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(HealthDay News) -- A splinter may be an annoying inconvenience at first, but if it isn't removed, soreness and infection can start.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers the advice on removing a splinter:

  • Before you begin, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • With a clean pair of tweezers, grab the end of the splinter, and gently try to pull it out at the same angle at which it entered the skin.
  • For a hard-to-reach splinter that isn't too deeply imbedded, gently remove the skin over the splinter using a safety pin or a needle that has been sterilized in rubbing alcohol or a flame. Finish removing the splinter with the tweezers.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands again, and gently pat the area dry (avoid rubbing the area). Then apply antibiotic ointment.
  • If the area is likely to get dirty, put a bandage over it. Otherwise, it's best to leave it uncovered.

Any splinter that is deep into the skin, near the eye, or inflamed or draining pus should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

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