Splinter removal

Almost everyone had experienced a splinter at some point in life. Working with wooden tools or simply touching an old bench puts one at risk for getting a splinter that can cause pain. Luckily, splinters are easy to get rid of with the right tools and technique.

Steps on how to remove a splinter

  • Cleanse and dry the area – infection can be prevented by washing your hands and the area with the splinter using water and soap. After washing, gently pat the skin dry.
    Splinter removal

    Infection can be prevented by washing your hands and the area with the splinter using water and soap.

  • Carefully assess the splinter – in case it is very small, you can make use of a magnifying glass to check how big it is and which direction it entered the skin.
  • Utilize tweezers to pull out the splinter – if part of it is protruding, you can use tweezers to steadily pull it out. Initially, you should sterilize the tip of the tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Pull it out in the same direction that it penetrated the skin. Avoid squeezing it out though since this can cause it to break in smaller pieces that are harder to remove.
  • Using a small needle – if the whole splinter is embedded beneath the skin, you can utilize a small needle for removal. The first step is to sterilize the needle and tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Using a magnifying glass, pierce the needle gently on the skin surface at one end of the splinter. Continue to use the needle to carefully drive out part of the splinter to the surface. When the end is protruding out of the skin, use the tweezers to slowly pull it out.
  • Clean and apply petroleum jelly – once the splinter has been taken out, cleanse the area using water and soap. Apply petroleum jelly and make sure that the area is covered using a bandage until it heals.

It is important to note that most cases of splinters can be removed safely at home, but some might require medical care. If a splinter is very large, deep or close to the eye or the area is infected, consult a doctor.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on splinter removal is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and deal with minor injuries including splinters, register for a first aid and CPR course with Kelowna First Aid.