How to remove wood splinter from hand?

Also known as sliver, a splinter is a condition that is characterized by tiny, sharp pieces of wood, glass, metal or plastic that gets into the skin and goes deep underneath. If the splinter is not very deep it will not hurt that much but it is important that you remove the same because it might cause an infection which then will complicate matters further. You will not realize that you have a splinter until the particular area begins to pain or swell up. Normally, a person tries to remove the splinter with a needle but before doing so, you must soak your hands in warm water for a good 15 minutes as by doing so, the wood swells up and comes out on its own. If this does not do the job then you can try applying ice on the particular area as that not only soothes the pain but also makes the area numb due to which it becomes easier to remove the splinter with a needle as it hurts less. If you are making the use of tweezers to get rid of the splinter, you must wash the tweezers first in isopropyl rubbing alcohol and then put little hydrogen peroxide to the splinter to clean it, avoid any infection and to get a clearer view of the wound. This would help in easier and effortless removal of the splinter. Also, while buying the tweezers, make sure that you buy ones that have ridged edges and the ends are flat and not curved.

You will have to use a needle to get the splinter out in case the tweezers are not helpful. The needle should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol and the particular area should also be cleaned. In case a cactus spine has got into the hand; you can remove it by applying a layer of gel to the area, peel it off once it has dried up and the splinter will come out along with it. Majority of the splinters can be removed at home and do not need a visit to the doctor. However, if the splinter is very deep and the above remedies are not helping, it is best that you check with the doctor and get it removed. Also, if the splinter is located in the nail or the face which are a little sensitive areas, it is advised that you see the doctor and not try things on your own at home.

answered by G M

The problem of splinters or slivers is one we are all too familiar with. Whether you live in the cols of Alaska and are hauling out firewood in the winters, or are simply building a tree house or repairing a fence down in Texas, handling unpolished wood is likely to cause a sliver or two as some splinters are bound to lacerate and maybe get embedded in the skin. Slivers are basically small punctures in the skin, filled with debris, most often wood or thorns. Slivers are not a serious problem and the only threat they pose is that of the site getting infected. The possibility of this happening is however not very high as the debris can in most cases be removed very easily at home and the puncture site disinfected.

A sliver is quite painful and annoying but can easily be removed:

  • As you were quite obviously handling wood the first thing you would need to do would be to wash the area and surrounding thoroughly, using warm soapy water. This helps disinfect the site and also get rid of any debris like sawdust that may have accumulated on your skin.

Most splinters if removed promptly can just be pulled out with tweezers or with the help of glue or tape. Removing an embedded splinter can however be a bit more challenging, but it is not as difficult as you may think it to be. All you need is a needle and a pair of tweezers, both of which should be sterilized.

  • Place the needle on your skin, lengthwise and just below the end of the splinter that is deepest in.
  • Apply a steady pressure on the needle and simultaneously run it upwards very slowly. The pressure beneath the sliver and the upward motion should steadily coax the sliver out. This may take several tries, but do not go impatient.
  • Once the splinter is visible you can draw it out as with any protruding splinter, by simply using a tweezer.
  • Make sure you’re very careful while executing the entire procedure however, as if you do it carelessly, hastily or without paying much attention, you could end up sending the splinter deeper in.
  • Once you extract the splinter make sure you cleanse the area thoroughly with an antiseptic and cover the wound with an adhesive bandage to prevent infection.

In some cases the splinter may however only reach the upper layer, visible beneath the skin surface, but not protruding. Although it would be possible to extract the splinter if visible under the surface, it is not advisable that you do this yourself and you should visit a doctor.

answered by S D

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