What is Splinters?
Splinters are pieces of wood, glass, metal, or other matter that get caught under the skin. Splinters tend to hurt if they are stuck deep under the skin. Those near the top of the skin are usually painless. Remove splinters so they don’t cause an infection. The problem is known medically as a soft tissue foreign body.
Small skin splinters and fingernail, or toenail splinters, can be painful, but these can usually be removed at home. Large or deep splinters, or splinters in the eye or mouth, are best removed by a medical professional.
Some of the common causes of Splinters are :-
- Butchers may end up with a small splinter of bone penetrating their skin.
- The protective thorns of plants may cause splinters in gardeners.
- The foot is usually injured when a person steps on a foreign body or slides forward (some examples would be walking on a rough wooden deck or boardwalk or stepping on shards of glass). Some splinters in the feet may become deeply lodged.
- The trouble can be caused by a wood splinter, a sliver of metal or glass.
- Handling an object may cause a small portion to dislodge as the person applies friction to that object (examples would be woodworking, metalworking, or falling and sliding on wooden floors).
Signs and Symptoms of Splinters
Usually, a splinter is fairly obvious. You feel pain and a sense that a foreign body is embedded in the skin. There will be an opening in the skin where the object entered. The splinter itself may or may not be visible. The area may bleed, bruise, swell, or cause pain. It may remain sore for 2 to 3 days after the object is removed.
Home Remedies For Splinters
The amazing thing about a splinter is that such a tiny thing can hurt so much. You can’t ignore them because they often get infected and hurt even more. And getting or removing them out by digging with a needle often makes things worse. To remove splinters without the pain, here some home remedy :-
- Soak your skin. Before removing a splinter, it’s a good idea to soak the area in warm water for ten or fifteen minutes. Water makes the wood softer and also causes it to swell. In some cases this will cause the splinters to pop out on its own. Even when it doesn’t it’s much easier to remove a splinter when the skin is soft and pliable.
- Grease it out. One traditional technique for removing splinters is to smear on a little bit of bacon fat and then cover it with an adhesive strip.
In a day or two, the splinters will often be gone. Bacon fat contains a lot of salt, which draws moisture from the skin and which may draw the splinter out as well.
- Apply a little ice. To quickly ease the pain of a splinters, apply an ice cube for a few minutes. This will help numb the area, making the splinter easier to remove.
- Spray on some relief. Another way to numb the pain is to give a spritz with an over the counter first aid spray. As a bonus, these sprays will helps disinfect the area so that it’s less likely to get infected.
- To retrieve any residual pieces of wood, cover a cotton swab or piece of gauze with household glue and place in on the skin. Let the glue dry, and then remove the gauze. The splinter should come out.
- Use the right tweezers. It’s not always easy to get a grip on a splinter with tweezers. You’ll have better success if you use tweezers that have ridges or grooves on the end, which will improve with little rubbing alcohol. Grab the splinter as close to skin as possible and pull firmly. Do your best to remove the splinter at the same angle as it entered the skin, which will helps prevent it from breaking off inside. When you’re done, swab a little rubbing alcohol on the skin to disinfect it, or at least wash the area well with soap and water.
You may need medical care if the splinter :-
- If splinter in the eye.
- Broke off and part of it remains in the wound or if you are uncertain if the splinter has been removed.
- If splinter is very large.
- A splinter under a fingernail may be impossible to remove at home. Unless removed, it almost always becomes infected.
- If splinter is deeply embedded in the skin.
- Wear shoes at all times and whenever you walk on unfinished floors.
- Wear work gloves when you handle plants with thorns, sharp tips, or spines.