DEC 08, 2017 8:30 AM PST

What's the Best Way to Treat a Splinter?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

A splinter is any small fragment of a larger object that gets embedded under the skin surface. This can refer to fragments of wood, glass, metal, or even plastic. Wood splinters are most common and also pose the biggest threat if left untreated. That's because the organic matter in wood, including natural oils, resins, and microorganisms, make this a ripe source for inflammation. Ignoring the wooden splinter in your body can lead bacterial infections, such as tetanus.

So what's the best way to remove splinters? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the affected area has to be properly cleaned and dried first. Then, the splinter can be gently pulled or pushed out from the skin using cleaned hands and tools like tweezers or a small needle. Afterwards, clean the affected area again, apply petroleum jelly, and cover the area with a bandage until it has healed.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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