How to Remove a Splinter

Splinters can be tough to remove, but these smart steps can make the process safer and easier.

How to Remove a Splinter

Splinters are a rite of childhood, but ouch! They can really hurt. Whether it's glass, wood, or a nasty thorn that's under your kid's skin, it can be pretty tricky to get out.

Not to worry—you can remove that sneaky shard and soothe her pain fast with just a few household items.

WHAT TO DO NOW

First, head to the sink and lather up—bacteria from your hands could contaminate this boo-boo and cause an infection.

If the splinter is tiny, try to remove it with some tape. Place a small piece over the area and then gently peel it off, pulling in the direction that the splinter went in. (Just don't yank it the opposite way, or it might break off and become more deeply buried.)

A larger splinter can be taken out with tweezers. Swab the area with rubbing alcohol, and then use the same solution to clean the tweezers. Carefully grasp the end of the object and pull it out at the same angle it entered the skin.

If the splinter is deeply buried in the skin, use a clean needle to expose it, then grab it with the tweezers and carefully pull it out.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Wash the area where the splinter came out and then dab a bit of antibiotic ointment around the wound to reduce the risk of infection.

Can't get that sucker out? Call your doctor for advice. You should also check in with a physician if the area looks infected (redness, swelling, oozing) or the pain gets worse.