Remove a Splinter

September 15, 2007
Bottom Line Personal
Richard O'Brien, MD

Sterilize pointed tweezers and a sewing needle in boiling water or over an open flame—or just wipe them clean with an alcohol pad. Clean the skin around the splinter with an alcohol pad. Don’t use soap and water—it might soak and soften a wood splinter, making it more difficult to remove. If necessary, pinch the area and work the needle along the length of splinter, stretching the “tunnel” that the splinter has made to expose an end. Once you can firmly grip the end, pull out the splinter with tweezers. Check for any remaining pieces, then wash the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage if necessary.