Many people are aware of the throbbing pain that a splinter causes. Whether you were playing in the woods, or enjoying a quiet walk barefoot in the lovely outdoors, a splinter can easily alter your plans unexpectedly.
Medically, a splinter is referred to as any foreign object that is lodged into the skin, either partially or in whole. Typically, splinters are used to refer to pieces of wood, but it is important to realize that plastic and glass pieces may also be referred to as splinters.
Some great examples of splinters include wood shavings, sharp debris, thorns and waste plastic among others. For the most part, those affected by splinters are able to get rid of them without any medical attention. It is important, however, to realize that some splinters may call for medical attentions if they are too deeply lodged into the skin. The nature of this injury means that hands and feet are the most probable sites for splinters.
This creates a peculiar sensation that allows you to identify with ease the specific location of injury. Since splinters consist of foreign objects, there is always the risk of infection. This is why it helps to use up any of the following home remedies for quick relief as well as to eliminate the possibility of an infection due to the accumulation of dirt. All the remedies include the time required as well as what you need for the specific home treatment.
1. Adhesive Tape:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Warm water, medicated soap, clean towel and adhesive tape.
Adhesive tape is an easy remedy to use for the removal of splinters. The logic is simple as the tape’s sticky side will cause the splinter to latch onto it, and therefore ease its removal. You must make sure, however, that you clean the affected skin using soap and water. This gets rid of germs present and helps reduce the likelihood of an infection at the point where the skin is pierced.
- Clean your skin using the water and soap and dry well.
- Place the adhesive tape over the pierced skin.
- Gently press the tape downwards using the tip of your finger to set the tape in place.
- Wait for 30 seconds and then draw the tape backwards firmly.
- At this point, the splinter should stick to the tape and come off with great ease.
- Use this remedy as soon as possible to make the process less strenuous.
2. A Needle:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A needle, rubbing alcohol (also known as Isopropyl alcohol – IPA).
One of the most common ways to deal with splinters at home is to use a needle. This remedy works best when the splinter is lodged in the top layer of the skin as it ensures that the needle does not cause additional pain and discomfort. To prevent any infections at the point where the skin is broken, you need to sterilize the needle using rubbing alcohol prior to using. As mentioned above, the use of this needle may not be ideal for splinters lodged on the feet owing to the thicker skin present.
- Sterilize the needle by placing it in the rubbing alcohol for 1 minute.
- Carefully press the needle right next to the splinter to ease its removal. Avoid pressing the needle directly on the splinter as this could lodge it further under the skin.
- Once removed from the skin, you need to sterilize the pierced skin to clean it well.
3. A Pair of Tweezers:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A pair of tweezers and rubbing alcohol.
In the treatment of splinters, sometimes all you need is a pair of tweezers. The tweezers will hold the splinter tightly, allowing you to pull it out of the skin. Unlike the choice of needle, tweezers are an ideal option as they do not poke the skin. Note, however, that this remedy works best only in cases where the splinter is noticeably visible.
- Hold the tweezers in such a way that the splinter is held between the tips.
- Carefully pull out the splinter, taking care that you do not cause it to break into two while still in the skin as this makes it harder to pull out a second time.
4. Office Glue:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Office glue.
Office glue is another choice remedy for the removal of splinters, and works more or less in the same way as adhesive tape does. Granted, it does sound peculiar, but when you need quick relief from the discomfort caused by a splinter, you make the best of the remedies you have. The glue is simply applied on the broken skin and pulled when dried. Follow the directions below when you need to use this solution. This remedy, as you may have guessed, works best where the splinter is visibly clear.
- Place one big drop of glue above the splinter, ensuring the glue covers the entire length of the splinter.
- Allow the glue to dry completely.
- At this point, it will reveal a paper-like layer to which the splinter should have stuck.
- Peel off this layer gently and get rid of the splinter.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Hydrogen peroxide, sterile cotton wool and a pair of tweezers.
Hydrogen peroxide is yet another great way to eliminate splinters. The essence of using this chemical is to cause skin inflammation,and therefore enhance swelling. The result of this is that the splinters then become easier to spot, and therefore easier to pull out using a pair of tweezers. This remedy works best when the splinter is hidden, but you can easily tell the point where it pierced the skin.
- Soak the cotton wool in a small amount of Hydrogen peroxide.
- Dab the hydrogen peroxide on the pierced skin for 5 minutes. You may feel a tickling sensation, but this soon wears out.
- Let the skin ‘breathe’ for a few minutes, during which you will feel the skin become swollen and inflamed.
- Once swollen, simply use the pair of tweezers to get the splinter out.
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: White vinegar, a small basin and a pair of tweezers. Warm water (optional).
Use this common kitchen ingredient whenever you need to deal with a splinter embedded in your skin. The essence of vinegar is that it causes the splinter to come to the surface of the skin, making it so much easier to pull out using tweezers. Use the remedy as soon as you can to lower the discomfort and pain related to the broken skin. If your skin is sensitive, you may opt to dilute the vinegar to prevent irritation.
- For those with sensitive skin, the first step is to dilute the vinegar with warm water in the basin.
- Soak the affected skin in the bowl for 30 minutes.
- When the time elapses, dry the skin and proceed to pull out the splinter using the pair of tweezers.
7. Epsom Salts:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Epsom salts, bandage and a pair of tweezers .
Epsom salts are a wonderful way to eliminate splinters from the skin. In fact, the salts work in the same way as the vinegar by causing the skin to open up and bringing the splinter to the surface. When this happens, it is then easy to pull out the splinter using either a tweezers or needle. You will need a bandage to hold the salt in place. The Epsom salt also has the advantage of soothing the skin and reducing the levels of inflammation.
- Place a pinch of the Epsom salts on the sticky side of the bandage before placing it on the affected skin.
- Wrap the skin and allow the salt to remain on the skin for 20 minutes.
- Remove the bandage and discard.
- Using the pair of tweezers, draw out the splinter.
- Use this remedy as soon as you can.
8. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 1-2 Hrs
What You Need: Baking soda, warm water, bandage, a pair of tweezers and antiseptic.
Baking soda works extremely well for splinters that are hidden from the surface of the skin. As with Epsom salts and Hydrogen peroxide, the paste made using baking soda leads to the swelling of the skin. This, in turn, pushes the splinter upwards causing it to stick out. Once this happens, a pair of tweezers will effectively remove the splinter. you may apply antiseptic after to ward off infections.
- Create a grainy paste using baking soda and water for topical application.
- Apply the paste on the affected skin and wrap with the bandage.
- Leave the bandaged paste on the skin for between 1 and 2 hours.
- After this period, get rid of the bandage and rinse the paste.
- Use your tweezers to pull out the splinter.
- Follow this through with the application of antiseptic.
9. Bread Poultice:
Time Required: 10 Min prep Overnight application.
What You Need: 3 Drops of fresh milk, half a slice of bread, bandage and antiseptic.
Bread poultice is one of the simplest ways to eliminate splinters overnight. The poultice, an absorbent mass made of the bread and milk, allows the splinter to adhere so that it is removed with relative ease the next morning. After the removal of the splinter, you want to use antiseptic to clean the skin and prevent further infection.
- Prepare the poultice by adding the 3 drops of milk onto the slice of bread.
- Place the bread poultice on the pierced skin and wrap to hold in place using the bandage.
- Allow the bandage to remain on overnight.
- Remove the bandage and poultice (alongside the splinter) the next morning.
- Wash the skin using antiseptic daily until the skin heals.
10. Raw Honey:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of raw organic honey and warm water to rinse.
Honey has proven to be a great home remedy for the treatment of a myriad of conditions. Its therapeutic properties make it ideal for the removal of splinters as it not only makes the foreign bodies easier to remove, it also keeps infections at bay. The catch is to use raw honey for the best results.
- Place the honey on the affected skin and massage.
- Allow the honey to remain on the skin for 30 minutes, and then using a pair of tweezers remove the splinter.
- Follow this through with warm water skin rinse to get rid of the remaining honey.
Other home remedies ideal for the treatment of splinters include egg shells which help draw the splinter out as well as raw potatoes. The latter allows for the swift lifting of the splinter, ensuring its safe removal. If you prefer, you may opt to cut out the splinter from the skin after sterilizing the blade using alcohol.
The next time a splinter pierces the skin, make sure you use any of the choice remedies listed above. Note that if the splinter is extremely big, or is lodged in the deep layers of the skin, you need to seek medical attention. The same rule is to be observed if the splinter is in the eye, or a portion breaks off and remains in the skin as such cases could predispose you to fatal infections..