Health Tip: Removing a Splinter

If it's easy enough to do at home

(HealthDay News) -- Most splinters can be removed at home without complications. Sometimes, if the material is deeply embedded or is particularly large, you may need to visit your doctor for removal and infection prevention.

If the splinter can be easily removed, the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital recommends following these steps:

  • For large splinters, use a needle and tweezers -- sterilized with rubbing alcohol or a flame -- for removal.
  • Wash the area of skin with antibacterial soap and water, but don't soak the skin if the splinter is made of wood.
  • Be sure you are in a well-lit area, and use a magnifying glass, if possible.
  • Get a good hold on the splinter with the tweezers, and pull firmly at the same angle at which the splinter entered the skin.
  • Wash the area with antibacterial soap and water after the splinter has been removed, and cover with antibiotic ointment.

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