In as much as I believe that over the last year I may have picked up a splinter in both thumbs which are sensitive over the entire year how can I tell if they are still there?

There is no simple way that a medically unqualified person could tell if there is something present under the skin after a year of the presence first being felt. The only option you have available to you is to go to a doctor who will examine your thumb, most likely under a microscope and will be able to tell you if there is a splinter still present under it. If there is the suggestion of a splinter and it is too deeply embedded to be seen even under a microscope, it is also possible that you may to go for an X-ray. If you are still feeling the presence of a foreign particle in your body after such a long time, then this is a step that may very well be required.  In any case, you should get your thumbs checked out by a doctor before you try to do anything else. There are some simply ways to determine if there is something left behind after contact has been made with a splinter. One of the easiest is to lightly run a finger over the area and see if you can feel something piercing you inside. If the splinter has entered your skin freshly and not much time has elapsed, then you can try to squeeze it out. Keep in mind that this may even sometimes push the splinter further, but it is a risk you can take. Most of the time, if there is a splinter, you can tell which way it is sitting. This makes it easy to gently pinch the skin in the area and coax it out. This same rule however, would not apply to old splinters that have been around for a long time.

If you have a simple tool such as a hair plucker, this too can be used to remove a splinter. It is extremely important, however, to be very careful while using this, as if you are not gentle enough, you may end up breaking the splinter and leaving some of it inside the skin. The danger with this is that the part that is inside, may become infected, which poses a separate problem. Your best bet with a fresh splinter is that if you can see it, you should try to be gentle while pulling it out. If you feel you may not be able to do it this way, you can ask someone else to help you out.

answered by G M

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