How to remove a splinter?

At least once in lifetime you’ve experienced this surprising amount of pain, caused by a splinter. You have touched that old wooden bench, or old wooden door, and – there it is! Inside your skin and hard to take it out just by using your nails.

To help you end that suffering, American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following tips:

  1. Wash and dry the area:

    In order to prevent infection, wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water and gently pat your skin dry.

  2. Inspect the area:

    Try to figure out the direction it enter the skin. If the splinter is very small, use a magnifying glass.

  3. Use tweezers:

    Usually one part of the splinter is sticking out, so you can use tweezers to gently pull out the splinter. But first, sterilize the tip of the tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Then,  gently, pull out the splinter in the same direction that it entered the skin. Remember to never squeeze out a splinter, as this may cause it to break into smaller pieces that are harder to remove.

  4. Use a small needle:    

    If the entire splinter is placed under the skin, you can use a small needle to remove it. But first, sterilize the needle and a pair of tweezers using rubbing alcohol. Subsequently, look through a magnifying glass and use the needle to gently penetrate the surface of the skin at one end of the splinter. Continue to use the needle to carefully push out part of the splinter. Once one end of the splinter is sticking out, use the tweezers to gently pull out the splinter.

  5. Clean and cover:

    After the splinter has been removed, clean the area with soap and water, or disinfect with rubbing alcohol. Keep the area covered with a bandage until it heals.


Most splinters can be safely removed at home, but some may require medical assistance. See your doctor or a dermatologist if your splinter is very large, deep, located in or near your eye, or if the area becomes infected.


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