Learn About First-Aid for Splinters and Glass in Skin
Splinters can be relatively easy to identify and remove on your own. However, sometimes getting a splinter in the skin causes prolonged pain, bleeding and infection if you do not have the tools to remove it properly. Avoid any complications from splinters by preparing your homemade first-aid kit with the right pieces of equipment.
This guide will help you learn about some natural remedies and approaches to removing agitating splinters and pieces of glass lodged in the flesh, as well as when to visit a doctor for severe cases.
Find Out First-Aid Kit Must-Haves for Splinters and Glass in Skin
A splinter or piece of glass caught in the skin can happen suddenly. While it may catch you off guard, it does not mean you have to be unprepared. In the event you get a painful splinter somewhere on your body, you are going to want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Your homemade first-aid kit will need the following items to treat a splinter:
Soap – Soap and water are necessary to clean the surrounding skin to decrease the chance of dirt or bacteria getting into the wound.
Rubbing alcohol – Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the needle or pair of tweezers before using them on your skin, especially if you need to break the skin. This will remove bacteria that may be on the tools you need to extract the splinter.
Antiseptic towelette – In lieu of rubbing alcohol, an antiseptic towelette can assist in cleaning the wound and tools you intend to use for removing the splinter.
Sewing needle – If the piece of glass, metal or wood in your skin is very small or deep, a needle can be used to penetrate the skin to reach the object irritating you.
Tweezers (also known as forceps) – Tweezers are the main piece of equipment used for treating splinters. Their pincers are excellent at pulling out tiny splinters from underneath skin.
Magnifying glass – In cases where the splinter or piece of glass is too small to see in the removal process, use a magnifying glass to get a better view of the obstruction in the skin.
Antibiotic cream – Applying antibiotic cream will help to ensure the open wound (after splinter removal) heals well and does not get infected.
Bandages – Sometimes a splinter is deep enough to cause bleeding. After you remove a splinter, clean the wound and apply antibiotic cream, as the wound may still bleed. Use an adhesive bandage to soak up blood until the bleeding stops.
Many items such as bandages and antiseptic towelettes can be found in a store-bought first-aid kit. However, tweezers, magnifying glasses and needles must be purchased separately. You can find these items at your local pharmacy, in beauty supply stores or online.
Learn About Natural Supplements That Can Help Splinters and Glass in Skin
In addition to first-aid kit items, the following list of items can help naturally disinfect or extract a piece of glass, metal or wood stuck in your body.
Castor oil – Castor oil can be used to naturally pull glass to the outer layers of the skin if you have a seemingly immovable piece lodged somewhere in your body.
Epsom salt and water – Using a solution of warm water and Epsom salt, submerge and soak the splintered area for 15 to 30 minutes. Doing so will cause the skin to swell slightly. This swelling will push the foreign object close to the surface of the skin.
Baking soda – Combine water and baking soda to make a paste. Apply the plaster-like substance on a bandage or gauze and place it securely over the splinter or glass. Let the solution settle on the wound overnight. The paste helps make the splinter stick to the bandage well enough to draw it out. If it does not come out entirely, use tweezers to finish pulling out the irritating object.
Lavender oil – Lavender oil can be spread over the splintered area after it has first been cleaned. The oil has antimicrobial properties, which can help stop the possibility of infection when attempting to removing the splinter from the skin.
While these natural supplements can be useful for removing splinters or glass from underneath skin, one should not depend solely on these methods. Use them in tandem with first-aid kit items to successfully remove any foreign objects afflicting you.
How to Take Care of Splinters and Glass in Skin
Dealing with a piece of wood, glass or metal lodged in the flesh can cause panic and anxiety. However, the process of removing splinters or glass from the skin is direct and can be effectively treated in little time if done properly.
To safely remove splinters or glass from your body, execute the following steps:
- Clean your hands with hot water and soup before attempting to handle splinters or glass shards in the skin.
- Clean the surrounding area of any excess dirt.
- Apply pressure around the embedded piece of wood, metal or glass.
- Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize a sewing needle or pair of tweezers.
- If the object is deep, use the sterilized needle to break the skin the get to it. If the object can be clasped by tweezers, use those instead. Extract the foreign object.
- Apply more pressure around the area so that blood may wash out any existing contaminants or sediment.
- Clean the area.
- Gently dry the wound.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to begin the healing process.
- Place a bandage over the wound if there is excess blood to address.
- Clean and reapply the ointment and a new bandage as needed.
When to Go to the Hospital for Splinters and Glass in Skin
Removing a wooden splinter or shards of glass from underneath the skin may be temporarily painful, but it is still a relatively direct process that can be taken care of at home. While removing a foreign object from underneath the skin is possible, there are some instances which may call for professional medical assistance.
Seek medical attention from a doctor for splinters or glass embedded in the skin when:
- The glass pieces or splinters cannot be removed with relative ease.
- The splinters or glass has afflicted one of the eyes or is near them.
- The skin is bleeding profusely and does not appear to be slowing down.
- The wounded area is particularly dirty or deep.
- The splintered area appears infected or swollen.
- The splinters or shards have burrowed deep into the flesh.
- The person with splinters or glass in the skin has not had a tetanus shot within the last five years.
The splinter sufferer can have a close family member or friend transport him or her to the hospital if he or she is experiencing most of the above conditions. However, take precautions to cover the seats and floors to keep the blood from flowing freely everywhere. Make sure the vehicle has ample space if the patient has been wounded in any of the areas on the body normally used for sitting. If the splinter is exceptionally deep or bloody, call for an ambulance to transport him or her to the hospital, as this may prove to be a faster, more sterile option to address the situation.
If you have dealt with the splinters or glass pieces at home and notice there may still be pieces embedded in the flesh, you may need to follow up with a doctor to ensure all pieces have been adequately removed.