So you accidentally stepped on some wood and a stinging sensation hits your foot.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A splinter doesn’t mean you’re careless – it’s purely an accident. And it’s actually wise for you to do your research and now you’ve stumbled upon this page. In this article, we will tackle how to get a splinter out of your foot.
We’ll not only deal with the common solutions but we’ll actually dig into some unusual – but effective – ways of removing a splinter from your foot. Additionally, you’ll learn relevant stuff from things to do before and know when to call a doctor – since the info herein is purely DIYs.
- 1 What is a splinter?
- 2 Things to do before removing a splinter
- 3 Step-by-step guide on how to get a splinter out of your foot
- 4 Other DIY ways to remove splinter
- 5 When to see a doctor
- 6 Summary
What is a splinter?
Your feet can never be invulnerable to tiny fragments you can accidentally step on. Splinters happen when the skin is punctured by a thin or small wood fragment or any material.
While splinters are usually caused by tiny fragments, they are still surprisingly painful – well, depending on your situation. If somehow you inadvertently got a splinter, you don’t need to worry about going to the doctor right away. You can attempt removing the splinter at your home, by yourself.
Things to do before removing a splinter
- Always wash your hands with a good, anti-bacterial soap before attempting to remove the splinter.
- Evaluate how severe the splinter is. If it’s too small and doesn’t hurt, then you can simply let your body system push it away slowly in a few days. Yes, the splinter can actually work its way out of your skin naturally.
Step-by-step guide on how to get a splinter out of your foot
1. Basic steps for small splinters
- Aside from washing your hands, you should also clean the affected area with water and mild soap.
- Grab a sticky tape and gently touch the area until the tape gets hold of the splinter.
- Now pull away carefully. The fragment should go with the sticky tape away from your skin.
- An alternative to sticky tapes is hair removal wax.
- The steps are worth repeating if you’re not successful for the first time.
2. Basic steps for large splinters
- Grab a small needle and your tweezers and clean them with alcohol.
- If the end of the splinter is visible and a part is still outside, you can use your tweezers to gently grip the splinter and pull out the rest of it.
- If the end part of the splinter is not visible or not sticking out, use the needle to open your skin right at the spot, exposing enough splinter for you to utilize the tweezers and pull it away.
- If the splinter is not visible enough, you can use any magnifying lens or go to an area with a brighter lighting.
3. Important things to take note when having a splinter
- Avoid making the splinter worse by touching it too often
- Do not squeeze your skin in the splinter area
- If only a small length sticks out of the skin, do NOT use your bare fingers in pulling the splinter out. You may unintentionally embed it deeper.
Other DIY ways to remove splinter
1. Baking soda
- Make a paste by combining 1-tablespoon soda with enough water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to the splinter area in a gentle manner
- Now cover the area with a band-aid.
- Let it sit overnight (or for 24 hours if you can).
- The splinter will most likely rise the next day which gives you an opportunity to utilize your tweezers and attempt pulling it out.
2. White vinegar
- Submerge the affected area in white vinegar for about half an hour.
- You can expect the splinter to rise on top of your skin, giving you a chance for easy removal.
3. Egg shells
Now this one’s a little uncommon but it’s worth giving a try
- You can break a fresh egg or you can do this when someone’s cooking in the kitchen.
- Apply the inner eggshell over the splinter and wait till it rises up the skin
- Once it does, try using your tweezers again to completely remove it.
Another way to potentially get rid of your splinter is by using a potato. This one’s a little bit weird but still worth a try
- Slice a small-sized potato and put a small slice on top of the affected area
- You can also use a tape to hold the potato in place
- You can leave the potato on for a few minutes or even overnight if it’s deep
- Just like the previous approach, you’ll just have to wait when the splinter becomes visible. Once it does, a simple pinch of tweezers will be the last step.
When to see a doctor
We’d like to emphasize that no online advice beats professional diagnosis. It’s always safer and better to consult your doctor about any medical situations. However, if it’s your choice to look for online help and support, you can always follow the info herein at your own risk.
2. When infection occurs
It doesn’t take a genius to know the area is already infected. When the wounded area shows any signs of infection, it’s time to consult the professionals as soon as you can. The earlier you go, the lesser the risk of the infection getting worse.
3. When you can’t remove it
There are unfortunate times that you can’t just do it your way. There are also cases where people are only able to pull out a certain length and not the entire splinter. If all attempts of pulling out the splinter are not effective enough, then you can call a health care provider.
4. When the wound is bleeding
When the affected area is already bleeding heavily, consult a doctor right way. Your skin may need more care than just basically pulling out the splinter.
5. When the splinter is skin deep
If somehow the puncture is powerful enough that the fragment is buried deep in your skin, get support from a healthcare provider.
6. If the splinter is under your toenail or fingernail
This one’s an important note. If this is your case, the doctor may have to cut a notch in the nail to get rid of the splinter. This is probably more important for people who are diabetic and have to extra careful when dealing with this type of stuff.
There you have it! You’ll never run out of things to do versus that splinter of yours. Learning How to get a splinter out of your foot is just the first step. Now it all boils down to actually applying what you’ve learned when the need arises.