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View Full Version : Splinter Removal Tricks?



Jacob Reverb
04-05-2012, 9:24 AM
OK, I got a small splinter of cherry in my finger yesterday. After a couple of hours it started hurting so I decided it was time to go.

Dug and dug with a sewing needle, good tweezers and hemostats, nail clippers, etc., to remove the overlying skin and finally dug something out. It was TINY but I thought I had it licked.

But this morning it still hurts so I know there's more where that came from. Problem is, I can't SEE anything!

Should I just excavate until I have a hole deep enough that I know there couldn't be anything deeper? What do you all do in similar situations?

Jeff Monson
04-05-2012, 9:38 AM
I got a set of tweezers from Grizzley tools that has a magnifying glass attached to it. Stupid as it sounds it does work
wonders when removing splinters.

Myk Rian
04-05-2012, 9:42 AM
http://www.amazon.com/SE-Tweezers-Magnifier-Combo-3-75/dp/B0019N9ZGW

228725

Joe Kieve
04-05-2012, 9:45 AM
Make sure whatever you use is sterile! I got a splinter at work awhile back, used a needle that I thought was sterile and woke up the next morning with a red streak running up my arm. , Went to the company nurse who immediately sent me to the doctor for antibiotics to get rid of a blood infection.
Bottom line.....sterile.

Joe

Sam Murdoch
04-05-2012, 9:51 AM
Less gruesome technique for small and inline splinters such as cactus spines, is too smear a layer of yellow glue over the area. When the glue is dry peel off the glue layer and the splinter will come out with it :D. Also (occasionally) just letting it fester a day or two will allow it to pop out without much effort. When all else fails or if you just like using tools - I highly recommend Uncle Billy's http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004245/9012/Sliver-Gripper-Tweezers.aspx

Myk Rian
04-05-2012, 10:06 AM
When all else fails or if you just like using tools - I highly recommend Uncle Billy's http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004245/9012/Sliver-Gripper-Tweezers.aspx
I keep one of those on my key ring. Found it in a Dollar store.

Cary Falk
04-05-2012, 10:34 AM
I cut mine out with this.
http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=85262&catid=196099&aid=336060&aparam=tweezerman_spa_squeeze_&CAID=7d8e797a-664e-446d-932d-388b76696b6e

Gary Kman
04-05-2012, 10:56 AM
I have a Harbor Freight magnifier clipped onto a really bright light then use all of the above. Have heard that Dr's have some kind of dye that makes splinters show up better. I sure wouldn't want "...streaks running up my arm...." but the most painful and difficult splinters to remove have been those that wouldn't get infected.

John Coloccia
04-05-2012, 11:27 AM
These rock.

http://www.medipoint.com/html/splinter_out.html

I had one in my pinky, though, that I eventually had to go to the ER for. It took the doctor a good 1/2 hour to dig it out with scalpels and things like that. I would have never gotten it. Splinters are nothing to fool around with. I would never leave one overnight on purpose unless you look forward to infections and anti-biotics.

Jerome Stanek
04-05-2012, 12:25 PM
You could cut the finger off that would get rid of it. some times soaking it will help.

Ted Calver
04-05-2012, 12:27 PM
I keep a small bottle of old fashioned iodine on hand. A small dab with a cotton ball is usually enough to color the splinter so i can see it better...assuming it's wood.

curtis rosche
04-05-2012, 1:13 PM
a big sharp knife, a bottle of whiskey, and something to bite down on.

or a sturdy chair, a few belts, a good friend and a knife

Brian Kent
04-05-2012, 1:33 PM
Not to be an alarmist, but watch closely for any secondary swelling (or streaks). A friend of mine lost a thumb to a splinter.

Kent A Bathurst
04-05-2012, 1:38 PM
As unwise as this sounds.........If I can get it out with my teeth, fine. If not, I try some tweezers I have in the shop. If that gets it out, fine.

If it is still in there, I just ignore it. Within a couple days, the attack mechanism has gone after it, very slight localized swelling-slash-infection, and ...yuuuuck... a little pus forms around it. Everything is all softened up at that point, and it squeezes right out, and everything is back to normal in another couple days.

Two of these from RO in the past ten days - that stuff is very "splintery".

Of course, this is from the guy who is standing there when LOML walks in, looks at me, and says "How did you cut yourself?" Me: "Huh? What? Where?" Her: "Well, that blood on your arm." This happens all too often. Either that, or the piece of wood I am working suddenly has a red smear on it, and I have to start a search to find where the cut is.

Bill Edwards(2)
04-05-2012, 1:50 PM
a big sharp knife, a bottle of whiskey, and something to bite down on.

or a sturdy chair, a few belts, a good friend and a knife




a good friend Who doesn't care about your pain.:eek:

Ralph Okonieski
04-05-2012, 2:10 PM
I've already had splinters that had broken-off underneath the skin and could not get to them. I use an ointment called "Good Samaritan" that is truly fantastic. Smear some on a bandaid and cover the area. It tends to draw them out. Sometimes it may take a few days. This company has been around for more than 60 years (I'm almost 60 and my mother used this when I was a wee lad). It is good to take soreness away, after digging the splinter out or other maladies. It can be used for quite a few ailments. Check the ingredients before you use to confirm you are not allergic.

I have no affiliation with the company whatsover; I'm just a very satisfied customer. I buy it for my daughter to use on their children.

http://www.goodsamaritan.com

Jim Rimmer
04-05-2012, 3:15 PM
For about $5 I bought a box of loupes or monocles at HF. Each one is a higher magnification. I use them for lots of things and splinter removal is one.

russell dietrich
04-05-2012, 7:43 PM
Rite Aid has a product called Draw Out Salve (contains ichthammol 20%).

Jacob Reverb
04-05-2012, 7:52 PM
Thank you all for all the great replies.

I had forgotten about ichthammol...my Mom used to use it on my splinters when I was a kid and was too chicken to use the sewing needle, and 30 years later she gave me the same tube that had been hanging around the household all my life...somewhere I still have it. Hmmm...

Talking about the bottle of hooch and a friend who doesn't feel your pain...I remember my Dad (also a woodworker) getting me to dig out a splinter he had in his right hand. Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinkin' about it. Can still see him trying to squeeze out the splinter with his fingernails he could carve wood with those darned talons.

But hey! Thanks for the memories of both of my late parents!

Kevin Gregoire
04-05-2012, 8:00 PM
depending on the size of the splinter, these tools come in various sizes.


http://www.leevalley.com/en/images/item/gardening/48u0307s1.jpg


but in actuality i have always used a fresh razor blade and just cut it out

Lupe Duncan
04-05-2012, 9:29 PM
The easiest and the best for me and my kids(no tweezers and diggin done) is some CA glue. Ill put a dab of some Med CA glue over the splinter and wait for a few seconds. once it dries I peel off the dried CA glue and the splinter comes out with it.

The kids love this much better than any tweezers.....

ray hampton
04-05-2012, 10:22 PM
The easiest and the best for me and my kids(no tweezers and diggin done) is some CA glue. Ill put a dab of some Med CA glue over the splinter and wait for a few seconds. once it dries I peel off the dried CA glue and the splinter comes out with it.

The kids love this much better than any tweezers.....

peel it off, of course you do

Bruce Volden
04-05-2012, 11:24 PM
A REAL woodworker would just push it through to the other side and THEN pull it out.

I don't happen to be one 'tho!

Bruce

Jacob Reverb
04-06-2012, 8:08 AM
A REAL woodworker would just push it through to the other side and THEN pull it out.

I don't happen to be one 'tho!


As an avid fisherman, that's one thing I've always dreaded, but thankfully never had to do ... yet. :o Some of the hooks I use for tuna would take some serious pushin'! :eek:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/attachments/sportfishing-charters-forum/63377-rigging-marlin-lures-mustad_7691s_dou_491496d303777.jpg

Wayne Hendrix
04-06-2012, 4:59 PM
So I asked the doctor teaching class (I'm a med student) his opinion on slivers and he said the best thing to do would be pull it out if part of it is protruding and accessible. If not, or if part of it breaks off deep, he recommended just leaving it. The body's natural defenses will push it out. Most of the bacteria are coming from your own skin, there are few on the sliver itself, it just drags them in from your skin, and the more digging around you do the more bacteria you will allow in. If you are worried about infection put some triple antibiotic ointment on it.

If you are going to go digging around for it, clean what ever instrument you are going to use with alcohol and clean the skin around the sliver with alcohol and allow it to dry immediately before preceding. After removal apply a triple antibiotic ointment.

Also one quick clarification. A red streak traveling up your arm, or anywhere else, is not a blood infection. That is the lymphatic system. Its still not good, as it means the system designed to identify and kill pathogens is being overwhelmed and you still need to go to the doctor, but its not a blood infection. An infection that has moved to the blood causes very significant symptoms, and you would be very sick, but you wouldn't have a streak moving up your arm.

ray hampton
04-06-2012, 7:44 PM
my son fell on a thorn when he was a teen and his knee got so sore within one day that he did not want to walk, the doctor at the hospital save the day

Thomas Canfield
04-06-2012, 11:38 PM
Rite Aid has a product called Draw Out Salve (contains ichthammol 20%).

The Ichtammol salve is an old remedy that still works. I had to buy (had to ask a druggist counter) a replacement tube just a few weeks ago to get a splinter out. I am installing a western red cedar fence and have had several splinters that start swelling almost immediately if not removed, and the salve has come to the rescuse when digging does not do the jon.

Rich Engelhardt
04-07-2012, 8:31 AM
Please, please, please - someone start a thread about how they just won the lottery!!!

I haven't had one of those nasty little invisible splinters you can't get rid of - but know they are still there when rub them the wrong way - since I can't remember when...

Then, a day after this thread - - I have this nastly little begger in the palm of my right hand....
I spent half of last night chewing and gnawing @ my hand & I think I got it.

glenn bradley
04-07-2012, 10:57 AM
Quality tweezers. Remove immediately.

David G Baker
04-07-2012, 6:16 PM
When I was younger I did a lot of metal working and on occasion I would get one of those invisible metal slivers. They are similar to glass slivers, you can feel them but have trouble finding them. I frequently use magnifying glasses to help find and remove slivers. The slivers that did the most damage were Redwood and #60 pressure treated wood.

ray hampton
04-07-2012, 7:33 PM
wood and steel slivers are not too bad but brass or glass slivers will not dissolve,I load hay bales when I was a teen and the hay ends have a way to get under your fingernail

David Prince
04-07-2012, 10:57 PM
How about doing drywall and grabbing screws out of the box and nail pouch. After a day of grabbing screws and misc. metal pieces with them your thumb and index finger have little black metal chips in the skin that you get to dig out. A pocket knife and/or needle works for me.

Wil Limanen
04-09-2012, 2:03 PM
Please, please, please - someone start a thread about how they just won the lottery!!!

I haven't had one of those nasty little invisible splinters you can't get rid of - but know they are still there when rub them the wrong way - since I can't remember when...

Then, a day after this thread - - I have this nastly little begger in the palm of my right hand....
I spent half of last night chewing and gnawing @ my hand & I think I got it.


I bought a lottery ticket back about 20 years ago and I didn't win. Haven't bought one since. Wasted a dollar!
Anyway, I get a lot of splinters wood or metal out by scraping the area with a sharp knife and usually grabs it out. My wife gave a small bottle of lavender essential oil to keep in the shop. She says it will heal cuts or burns quicker.

Wil

Marty Scott
04-12-2012, 3:06 PM
Here is something that is right for both the original question and for the lottery topic (note price):

http://shopping.roboz.com/micro-scissors-micro-forceps-groups/Fine-Micro-Dissecting-Forceps/Micro-Dissecting-Forceps-3-5-Straight-Fine-Tip

There is absolutely nothing better for grabbing very small things in skin. Drop them once and you need a new pair, though.

For the cheapskates among us, these are pretty good, too:

http://shopping.roboz.com/micro-scissors-micro-forceps-groups/Pattern-1-2/No-2-Dumont-Inox-Tip-Size-34-X-14mm

Van Huskey
04-12-2012, 3:40 PM
A sliver of bacon fat under a bandaid and most likely it will be out in the morning.

Kenneth Speed
04-16-2012, 12:34 PM
I used to carry a fairly god sized curved needle stuck through a card in my billfold. I was generally able to get slivers out before they got too deep. I don't need to carry a needle that way anymore but I still keep a couple in my toolbox. I think the best thing is to take them out right away before they get worked in too deep. An antiseptic is a good idea especially if you dig through the skin.

Steve Bates
04-22-2012, 12:30 AM
I've found the most difficult splinters to remove are the ones going straight in. So the only thing visible is a dot. A tiny dot most times.
The posts about good lighting and magnification are spot on. But how to dig a hole?
I go to a feed store and ask for hypodermic needles. Feed stores have several sizes for various livestock.
The needle is hollow which is where the splinter should fit into.
The needle is razor sharp to slice skin like a chisel.
The needle has a thin sharp point to start the hole.
I roll the needle in my fingertips to allow the tip to cut a circle around the splinter when necessary.
Keep them clean and sanitized.
My two penneys,
Steve Bates