Before using tweezers or a needle, try using cellophane tape to remove a splinter. Simply put the tape over the splinter, then pull the tape off. The tape will stick to the splinter and remove it painlessly. If tape doesn't work:
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- Grasp the end of the splinter with clean tweezers, and gently pull it out.
- If the splinter is embedded in the skin, clean a needle with alcohol and make a small hole in the skin over the end of the splinter.
- Lift the splinter with the tip of the needle until it can be grasped with the tweezers and pulled out.
- Do not wet or soak the splinter because it will be harder to remove in one piece.
- After the splinter has been removed, clean the wound and watch for any signs of infection.
You may need medical care if the splinter:
- Is very large.
- Is deeply embedded in the skin.
- Cannot be easily removed.
- Is in the eye.
- Broke off and part of it remains in the wound or if you are uncertain if the splinter has been removed.
Current as of: February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine