1. Clean Wound
- Clean the area with mild soap and water.
2. Care for a Tiny Splinter
- If it doesn't hurt, let the splinter work its way out over a few days.
- If it does hurt, touch the area gently with sticky tape and pull away carefully. If this doesn't work, try hair removal wax.
3. Remove Larger Splinter
- Clean a small needle and tweezers with alcohol.
- If you can see the end of the splinter, grip it with the tweezers and gently pull out the entire splinter.
- If none of the splinter is sticking out, follow the path of the splinter with the needle. Open the skin and expose enough of the splinter to remove it with tweezers.
- If you have trouble seeing the splinter, use stronger lighting and a magnifying glass.
- Clean wound area again. Apply a bandage and antibiotic ointment.
4. When to Call a Health Care Provider
Most splinters do not need the care of a health care provider.
See a health care provider if:
- You can't remove the entire splinter.
- The splinter is deep in the skin or the wound is bleeding heavily.
- The splinter is under a fingernail or toenail. The health care provider may need to cut a notch in the nail to remove the splinter.
5. Follow Up
- Ask the health care provider if a tetanus booster is needed.
- Watch for any signs of infection: redness, increasing pain, swelling, or pus at the site. Call a health care provider if you see any of these signs.