Just wound up a carpentry job and feeling great about it? Congratulations! While a DIY job is very rewarding, it comes with its own set of risks! Sometimes small fragments of wood, glass or metal, call splinters, can get embedded in the skin. They can be extremely painful and you need to deal with them quickly to relieve the pain and discomfort and also prevent it from getting infected. When the area with the splinter gets infected, it may result in swelling and redness. You would have probably tried to remove a splinter from your skin using tweezers or a needle, but this bear in mind that this is not a safe way to do so. It can cause more pain and increase the risk of an infection. Fortunately, there are simple home remedies that you can use to get rid of a splinter safely and painlessly.
10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Splinter
Here is a look at some of the best home remedies to safely remove a splinter:
1. Duct Tape or Glue
Duct tape is one of the easiest ways to remove a splinter. This works best when a part of the splinter is still poking out of your skin. However, if the splinter is fully embedded, duct tape will not work.
- Wash the area around the splinter with soap and lukewarm water and allow it to dry.
- Cut out a piece of duct tape and put it over the splinter.
- Rub the top of the tape gently with your fingertip.
- Wait 5 minutes and then in one smooth motion, remove the duct tape and it will come out with it.
- Clean the area again with lukewarm water.
- Or, you can use glue to remove the splinter – never use instant glue. Apply a thick coat of glue over the area with the splinter.
- Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then peel it off.
- The splinter will come off easily with the dried glue without any pain.
2. Egg Shell
Another simple solution to get rid of a splinter is to use egg shells. This is an easy way to remove it safely without pain. Who knew that egg shells that you toss in the garbage without a second thought could be so useful?
- Apply the inner egg shell over the splinter.
- Leave it on for a few minutes so that the splinter sticks to the shell.
- Once it has dried, remove the shell and the splinter will come off easily.
- Clean the affected area, apply an antibacterial ointment and put a band-aid over it until it heals completely.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another great natural remedy for tiny splinters that are hard to remove. It also works very well for splinters that are deeply embedded in the skin. It reduces pain and discomfort and helps in pushing the splinter to the surface, making it easy to pull it out with tweezers.
- Mix about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste.
- Spread the paste onto a bandage and put the bandage over the affected area.
- Leave it on for 24 hours and then remove the bandage.
- If you can see the splinter, pull it out with tweezers. If you cannot see it, repeat the process with a fresh paste and bandage.
- Once you have removed the splinter, rinse the affected area with lukewarm water.
4. White Vinegar
When it comes to removing splinters safely, white vinegar is one of the most effective. It has an acidic nature breaks the splinter through the surface of the skin. This enables you to pull out the splinter easy and safely with tweezers.
- Pour some white vinegar into a small bowl.
- Submerge the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If the splinter has risen out of the surface of your skin, remove it with tweezers. If it has not, continue to submerge the affected area until it does.
- After you have removed the splinter, rinse off the area with lukewarm water.
5. Banana Peel
The peel of a ripe banana is another excellent home remedy to get rid of a splinter safely and without pain. It contains enzymes that soften the skin and push the splinter up to the surface. Banana peel also has antimicrobial and moisturizing properties that help in preventing infection.
- Cut a small piece of a banana peel.
- Place it on the affected area with the white side down and secure it in place with tape.
- Leave it on overnight.
- You will find the splinter on the surface of your skin the next morning, allowing you to safely remove with tweezers.
6. Potato Slice
A slice of raw potato can be of great help when you have a splinter stuck in your skin. However, keep in mind that this works best when there is a partially visible splinter. It does not work if the splinter is lodged deep in the skin.
- Cut a thick slice of raw potato after washing it thoroughly.
- Place the slice on the splinter with the fleshy part touching it.
- Gently press the slice of potato down to make the splinter pierce it.
- Remove the potato slice carefully along with the splinter on it.
7. Warm Bread and Milk
Sounds a little unusual? It does, but warm bread and milk works wonders to get rid of a splinter safely from the skin. Once you remove the skin, the milk nourishes your skin, and keeps it moisturized too.
- Boil 1 slice of bread in 1 cup of milk.
- Take it off the heat once it is hot, but not boiling hot.
- Apply the poultice to the affected area and place a bandage over it to secure it in place.
- Leave it on overnight and the next morning, slowly remove the poultice along with the splinter.
- Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Honey can encourage a splinter to move up to the surface of the skin, allowing you to remove it safely and painlessly. It also has antiseptic and moisturizing properties that soothe the skin and prevent the affected area from getting infected.
- Apply honey generously directly on the affected area.
- Put a bandage over it and allow it to stay overnight.
- You will be able to remove the splinter with ease using tweezers the next morning.
- Rinse the affected area with lukewarm water and reapply a little honey to help with the healing process.
9. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil works well in drawing out splinters from the skin. It also has antimicrobial properties that help in preventing an infection and speeding up the healing process.
- Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil on the affected area.
- Leave it on for a few hours until the splinter rises to the surface of your skin.
- When it has, remove the splinter with tweezers.
- You can rinse the area with lukewarm water and apply some lavender essential oil again.
10. Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt poultice is another effective home remedy to get rid of a splinter, especially those that are lodged deep inside the skin. It draws water out of the skin cells, bringing the splinter out to the surface of the skin. This makes it easy to pull it out painlessly.
- Put 1 pinch of Epsom salt on a bandage and place the bandage over the affected area.
- Leave it on until the evening and then remove the bandage.
- The splinter will be drawn out so all you have to do is pull it out with tweezers.
- If the splinter has not risen out to the surface, repeat the process.
As mentioned earlier, splinters in the skin can cause a lot of pain along with swelling and redness. These home remedies make it easy for you to safely get rid of a splinter and prevent the skin around it from getting infected. However, if these remedies do not work, you should get medical attention to prevent further complications.