Here’s How to Get a Splinter Out Safely
You’re here wondering how to get a splinter out. But we’ve told you not to go barefoot. And warned you that, even in soft beach sand, you’re taking a risk walking without shoes. But we know that sometimes, you’re just going to ignore that advice, walk barefoot and get a splinter. When that happens, you’ll need to know what to do next. So that’s the important information we’re sharing today!
What is a Splinter?
We describe a splinter as any shard that gets stuck in your skin. Most often, splinters are sharp slivers of wood. But you can get splinters made of glass, metal or plastic, too. Usually, splinters pierce the outer most layer of your skin, called the epidermis. But sometimes, they go deeper. And that’s when getting that splinter out safely will be much more difficult.
How to Get a Splinter Out: Four Simple Steps
You can usually get surface-level splinters out safely, on your own, without the help of a podiatrist. Just follow these three simple steps to remove the splinter and prevent infection.
- Clean surrounding skin
As soon as you notice something in your foot, sit down and take your weight off it. That way, you can hope to keep it from lodging deeper in your foot. Now, grab sterilizing alcohol or soap and warm water and clean the skin around the splinter, as well as a pair of tweezers. These will be your tool for getting out that splinter.
- Stick to those clean tweezers
While it can be tempting to take a razor blade or scissors and cut away the skin covering your splinter, don’t do it! This just opens you up to serious injury or infection. Instead, use sterilized tweezers and get a firm grip on the exposed tip of the splinter. Get a firm grip and try to pull the splinter out in one smooth motion, to avoid breakage.
- Make sure it’s easy
If you haven’t enjoyed success after about five tries, it’s time to see one of our podiatrists in Spring TX. After those first few tries, you’re unlikely to get lucky. Instead, you’re more likely to irritate your skin or push that object in even deeper. Still, if you did remove the entire object…
- Clean, medicate and cover the skin
If you’re lucky and remove the foreign object on your first few attempts, congratulations! Now, you need to once again wash the surrounding skin, this time using soap and warm water. Next, apply some antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection and speed up healing. Finally, cover the area with a bandage to keep dirt out of the open skin. In a few days, you should be fully healed!
When to Get Professional Help
As we mentioned, if you can’t remove that surface object on your own after the first few tries? Make an appointment with our team. The same is true if the splinter is deep, or there’s no clear tip to grab for easy removal.
But even if you removed the foreign object from your foot, you may need to come in for a visit. After getting a splinter, you need to quickly see our podiatrists if there’s any sign of infection, including redness, warmth or pus. Finally, you should come in right away if your splinter is made of glass or metal, since these materials can cause serious infection or spread easily beyond the site of your puncture wound!
Sources: Well and Good
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