We’ve all been there: at some point in your life you are bound to get an uncomfortable stab from a rough piece of material. After the first moment of your discomfort, it’s time for you to take action. Don’t let that pesky sliver become an infection!
Getting a sliver in your skin is uncomfortable and can become problematic when you don’t remove it. So take it out if you can! Here are four ways that you can get rid of a sliver.
Your first instinct may be reaching for a pair of tweezers to get rid of the pain source. Try not to cause any further damage to the area, and avoid squeezing around the sliver. If it is a sharp sliver, squeezing the area around it may cause the sliver to become embedded further. So don’t mess around!
You may also run the risk of breaking the sliver down into smaller pieces, which may make it difficult to retrieve all the pieces. To avoid making the skin or the sliver soggy, keep your hands dry, as this will make it easier for you to grasp the sliver with your tweezers.
Sterilize the tweezers before you use them to remove the sliver with a bit of rubbing alcohol. You can find rubbing alcohol at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Examine the affected area under good lighting and locate the tip of the sliver where it is poking out of the skin.
Take note on the angle of the sliver and gently grasp the tip of the exposed sliver. Pull the sliver out slowly and make sure that it doesn’t break halfway through the removal process. Once you have the sliver out of your skin, gently cleanse the area with warm soap and water to disinfect the wound.
Pat the area dry and apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to lower the risk of infection. You can cover the area with a bandage if you’d like, but this is likely unnecessary.
Watch for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pain, draining from the wound, and a fever. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you do notice any symptoms of a possible infection.
2. Baking soda
This baking soda method is best used for slivers that are invisible to the eye, too tiny for tweezers to grasp, or ones that are deeply-embedded. If possible, try other ways of getting rid of your sliver before trying baking soda as it will cause your skin to swell and push the sliver out.
If using baking soda doesn’t work, you may have to wait until the swelling goes down before trying other methods because swollen skin will make getting rid of a sliver difficult.
First, create a baking soda paste by combining water to ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl. Mix this together to create a paste consistency and apply it on top of the sliver. Craft a makeshift bandage with the paste, place a real bandage to the clean area, and leave it on for 24-hours.
Once you have left the bandage on for the full 24-hour period, gently remove the bandage. At this point, the sliver may be sticking out of the skin and can be easily extracted with a pair of tweezers. However, if you cannot see the sliver or remove it, repeat this process for another 24 hours until you can see it.
If you are experiencing a lot of pain from the splinter, use a topical anesthetic around the affected area. This will numb the area before you try and get rid of the sliver.
3. Tape or glue
Disinfect the area with soap and warm water before you try and remove the sliver. Once you have finished cleaning the area, pat dry with a soft washcloth so that the skin is not waterlogged.
Apply a small piece of tape or duct tape the size of a small bandage to cover the sliver. When you remove the tape, hopefully the sticky aspect of the tape will grasp onto the section of the sliver that is still raised above the skin. If this method doesn’t work, feel free to try it again with another piece of tape or use white craft glue. Be careful that you don’t drive the sliver deeper into your skin!
Lightly apply a thin layer of white glue over the affected area and allow it to dry completely. Slowly peel the glue off so that it may catch and remove any small splinters that are near the surface of the skin. Glue may work better than tape as it is easier to get into the gaps and grooves in the skin.
Clean the wound where the sliver once was and keep an eye on the area. If any signs of redness or swelling occurs, there may be a chance of infection. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment that you can find over-the-counter, but if any pain or fever occurs, seek medical attention.
4. Egg shell
Your fridge likely has an easy answer to get rid of a sliver. Take an egg or two and cook their insides after cracking them open. Be sure to save your shells!
Make sure the affected area is dry and clean before you attempt to get rid of your sliver. Apply the inner portion of the egg shell over the splinter for a few minutes to coax the splinter out of your skin. Hopefully when you remove the egg shell, you will find the splinter stuck to the inside of the shell.
Voila! Now you are splinter-free and you have a side of eggs to fill your belly!
After following any of the suggestions above, don’t forget to keep the area clean to prevent any infections. Once you have removed the sliver successfully, keep an eye on the area to make sure that it doesn’t swell up or show symptoms of an infection brewing.
If the sliver is embedded too deep or you suspect an infection is present, you may need to seek medical attention to remove the sliver. To avoid getting any slivers in the future, wear shoes and protective clothing if you are carrying or working with wood. A good pair of work gloves can make a major difference. Otherwise, embrace the world sliver-free after following these easy steps to get rid of slivers!