Splinters are small fragments of wood, metal or glass that at times get embedded in the skin.
They can be extremely painful and need to be dealt with quickly to relieve the discomfort and prevent an infection, characterized by redness and swelling in the affected area.
Many people try digging under the skin with a needle or tweezers to remove the splinter. But this is not a safe method, as it can be extremely painful and increase the risk of an infection.
There are many safe and simple home remedies that will make it easier for you to get rid of splinters and prevent any complications.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to remove a splinter safely without pain.
1. Duct Tape
One of the easiest methods to remove a splinter is using duct tape.
This simple remedy works best when part of the splinter is still sticking out of the skin. It does not work for fully embedded splinters.
- Use lukewarm water and soap to wash the skin around the splinter, and allow it to dry.
- Put a piece of duct tape over it.
- Gently rub over the top of the tape with your fingertip.
- Wait 5 minutes, then pull off the tape in just one smooth motion. The splinter will come out with the duct tape.
- Finish by cleaning the area with lukewarm water.
You can also use glue to help remove a splinter. Just apply a thick layer of glue (not instant glue, though) on affected area, leave it on for at least 30 minutes or until it dries completely, then peel off the glue. The splinter will stick to it and come off easily and without any pain.
2. White Vinegar
Another one of the most effective home remedies for splinter removal is using white vinegar.
The acidic nature of vinegar will cause the splinter to break through the surface of the skin. This will make it easy to pull the splinter out with tweezers.
- Pour some white vinegar into a small bowl.
- Soak the affected area in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Check whether the splinter has risen sufficiently out the skin’s surface. If so, pull it out with tweezers. If not, continue soaking it until it rises to the surface.
- After you’ve removed the splinter, rinse the skin thoroughly with lukewarm water.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another good remedy for tiny splinters that are hard to see as well as those that are deeply embedded in the skin.
Baking soda reduces discomfort and helps push the splinter to the surface, so you can pull it out with tweezers.
- Mix enough water in about ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to form a thick paste.
- Spread the baking soda paste onto a bandage and apply the bandage over the affected area.
- After 24 hours, remove the bandage.
- If the splinter is visible, pull it out with tweezers. If not, repeat the method with fresh baking soda paste and another bandage.
- After you’ve removed the splinter, rinse the skin gently with lukewarm water.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another effective home treatment to rid of splinters in your hands or feet.
Hydrogen peroxide helps disinfect the area and reduce the inflammation so that the splinter is easily visible and pull out.
- Soak a cotton ball in 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Place the cotton ball on the affected area and secure it in place with tape.
- Leave it on for a couple of hours.
- Remove the cotton ball and carefully pull out the splinter with a pair of clean tweezers.
- Finally, rinse the area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Repeat the process again if the splinter is still deeply lodged and hasn’t risen to the surface.
5. Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt poultice is also effective for splinter removal, especially for the deeply lodged ones.
As Epsom salt draws water out of the skin cells, it brings the splinter to the surface, making it easy to pull out without any pain.
- Put a pinch of Epsom salt on a bandage.
- Apply the bandage over the affected area.
- Leave it on for the entire day.
- Remove the bandage in the evening.
- You can see that the splinter is drawn out. Now, just pull it out with tweezers.
Repeat the process again if needed.
6. Banana Peel
The peel of a ripe banana can also help in removing a splinter painlessly.
Banana peel contains enzymes that will help soften the skin and make the splinter move up to the surface. Plus, its moisturizing and antimicrobial property will prevent any further infection.
- Cut a small piece of banana peel.
- Place the peel with the white side down on the affected area, and secure it in place with tape.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the splinter with a pair of tweezers.
7. Raw Potato
Another very effective home remedy for splinter removal is using raw potato. However, this remedy works best when the splinter is partially visible and is not lodged deep inside the skin.
- Wash a raw potato thoroughly and cut off a thick slice.
- Place the potato slice on the splinter, making sure the fleshy part touches the splinter.
- Gently press the potato slice down so that the splinter pierces the potato.
- Carefully remove the potato slice, along with the splinter.
8. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil will also help draw out a splinter. Because of its antimicrobial properties, it will also help prevent an infection and aid in the quick recovery of the skin.
- Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil on the affected area.
- Leave it on for a couple of hours.
- From time to time, check whether the splinter has risen to the skin’s surface.
- Once you notice that the splinter has moved up, pull it out easily using a pair of tweezers.
Honey can help dislodge a splinter and encourage it to move toward the surface for easy plucking. Due to its moisturizing and antiseptic properties, it will also soothe the skin and prevent any infection.
- Spread a generous amount of honey directly onto the affected area.
- Put a bandage over it and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, pull the splinter out easily using a pair of tweezers.
- After rinsing the area with lukewarm water, reapply some honey to help the skin heal.
10. Bread and Milk
Another great home remedy for removing a splinter is bread and milk. In fact, this remedy has been used for centuries to help the splinter slip out of your skin.
- Dip a piece of bread in some warm milk.
- Apply this poultice to the area with the splinter and secure it with a bandage.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Remove the poultice the next morning. The splinter should come out with it.
- Finish by cleaning the affected area with lukewarm water to prevent an infection.
- Once the splinter is removed, make sure that you clean the affected area to prevent an infection.
- Keep the area clean until it is completely healed.
- Don’t squeeze a splinter in an attempt to push it to the surface. It could break into tiny fragments, making it even more difficult to remove.
- Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the tips of a pair of tweezers before using it.