How To Get A Splinter Out Naturally August 10, 2016

Walking barefoot, with your sandals dangling from your hands, may seem like an idyllic setting. But when a splinter lodges itself in your foot, it is hell unleashed. The throbbing and irritation that it causes can be overwhelming.

A splinter or a sliver is a small wound in the body caused by thorns, wood shavings, and other debris piercing the skin and penetrating to the lower layers. Splinters in the skin can be extremely painful and need to be dealt with quickly to relieve the discomfort. Do not press on the sliver as this could cause it to penetrate deeper into the skin. If the sliver embedded in your skin is made of glass, this could cause it to shatter into tiny pieces that are harder to remove. It is important that you remove splinters from your skin as quickly as possible as they could lead to other serious diseases.

Types Of Splinters

The splinters that pierce your skin can be made of biological or non-biological materials. Examples of these are as follows:

  • Biological splinters – bone, fish spines, teeth, and wood
  • Non-biological splinters – small pieces of metal, aluminum, glass, pencil graphite, plastic, etc.

Outlined below are 10 simple and quick home remedies for splinters. Check them out!

How To Get A Splinter Out Naturally

  1. Baking Soda
  2. Essential Oil
  3. Hot Water
  4. Salve
  5. Splinter Removal Soak
  6. Poultice
  7. Potato
  8. Vinegar
  9. Banana Peel
  10. Egg Shell

1. Baking Soda For Splinter

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Band-aid
What You Have To Do
  1. Smear the paste made of baking soda and water directly on the splinter to force it to the surface. Cover the area with the band-aid.
  2. Allow the poultice to set for a few hours. Remove the band-aid and rinse the paste off the afflicted area.
  3. Pull the splinter that has been forced to the surface and dab antiseptic on the area.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this simple home remedy as soon as you realize that your skin has a splinter in it.

Why This Works

Baking soda works well for the tiny, invisible splinters that are deeply embedded in the body. A paste of baking soda applied on the splinter causes the skin to swell and pushes the splinter out (1).

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2. Essential Oil For Splinter

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A few drops of lavender oil or Thieves oil
  • Sterilized tweezer
What You Have To Do

1. Apply the oil on the affected area and leave it on for a few minutes.
2. Check if the splinter has risen to the skin surface. If it hasn’t, wait for another seven to eight minutes.
3. You will notice that the splinter has moved up, and it can be easily pulled out using the tweezers.

How Often You Should Do This

For a bigger splinter, reapplication of the essential oil may be required.

Why This Works

The essential oils will draw out the splinter and also prevent any infections from developing because of their antimicrobial properties (2). These oils also possess anti-inflammatory and healing properties that will aid in the quick recovery of the skin that was pierced by the splinter (3).

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3. Removing A Splinter With Hot Water

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Hot water
  • A wide-mouthed glass or plastic bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill the bottle almost to the brim with hot water and press the affected area with the splinter on it.
  2. Press firmly so that a vacuum is created. Keep it in the same position for a couple of minutes. Then, slowly remove the bottle.
  3. You can see that the splinter is drawn out, and it can be pulled out easily.
How Often You Should Do This

This method works well the first time to remove splinters.

Why This Works

Due to the vacuum created, a pull is exerted on the flesh. At the same time, the steam from the hot water opens up the skin’s pores (4). These two factors work together and draw out the splinter.

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4. Salve

You Will Need
  • Ichthammol ointment
  • Bandage
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a small amount of ointment on the affected area and cover with a bandage.
  2. Keep this area away from water. Remove the bandage after a day. The splinter will come out with it.
How Often You Should Do This

This simple ointment is available without a prescription and can be used anytime you suffer from a splinter or sliver.

Why This Works

Ichthammol ointment is also called as Black drawing salve. It is derived from shale oil and is one of those remedies that has been passed down from generations to get rid of splinters. This salve possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well (5).

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5. Splinter Removal Soak

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton ball
  • Tape
  • Tweezer
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the cotton ball in the hydrogen peroxide solution and place it on the affected area.
  2. Secure it in place using the tape. Leave it on for a few hours.
  3. Remove the cotton ball and carefully pull out the splinter.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the process if the splinter hasn’t risen to the surface and is still deeply lodged.

Why This Works

Hydrogen peroxide is a good remedy to rid your hands and feet of splinters. The area becomes inflamed and swells, making the splinter visible. This can then be easily removed. Hydrogen peroxide is also a disinfectant agent (6).

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6. Poultice For Splinters

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A small pinch of Epsom salt
  • A large band-aid
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the Epsom salt on the bandage area of the band-aid and apply the band-aid on the affected area. Make sure that the salt comes in contact with the area where the splinter is lodged.
  2. Leave the band-aid on for the entire day. Remove it in the evening. The splinter will have risen to the surface and will come out with the band-aid. If it doesn’t, you can simply remove it using tweezers.
How Often You Should Do This

Change the band-aid if it gets wet during the day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt poultice is often recommended by doctors for splinter removal, especially for the deeply lodged ones. Being a salt, it draws out water from the skin cells, and this brings the splinter to the surface (7).

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7. Potato

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Raw potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a slice of raw potato on the splinter such that the fleshy part touches the splinter.
  2. Press the potato slice downwards gently and take it off carefully. If the sliver pierces the slice, it can be lifted off easily.
How Often You Should Do This

Use a thinner slice if the previous slice doesn’t work.

Why This Works

Potato flesh is soft and can easily be pierced by the splinter.

[ Read: Benefits Of Potato For Health ]

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8. Vinegar Splinter Removal

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • White vinegar
  • A small bowl or basin
What You Have To Do

Soak the affected area in white vinegar for about 15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the 15-minute soak if the splinter doesn’t rise to the surface.

Why This Works

Like Epsom salt, this treatment too causes the splinter to break through the surface, making it easy to tweeze or scrape.

[ Read: Vinegar For Dandruff ]

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9. Banana Peel For Splinter

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Banana peel
  • Tape
  • Tweezer
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the peel, with the white side down, on the affected area and stick it in place using the tape.
  2. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the peel and tweeze the splinter out.
How Often You Should Do This

Leave the peel on for longer if required.

Why This Works

Banana peel is loaded with enzymes that will make the splinter move up to the surface (8).

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10. Egg Shell

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 egg
  • Band-aid
What You Have To Do
  1. Crack open the egg and remove it contents.
  2. Take a big enough piece of the shell (along with the transparent membrane that is found attached to it), and place it on the affected area. Cover it with the band-aid.
  3. Leave the band-aid on overnight. Remove it in the morning. The splinter will come out with it as well.
How Often You Should Do This

A single application of this home remedy should work effectively in removing the splinter.

Why This Works

The egg shell causes the splinter to ease out of the skin.

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Even though a splinter sounds like nothing to worry about, it is important to remove this foreign particle from your body. Using these home remedies will make it easier for you and also prevent any complications.

Take a look at a few frequently asked questions.

FAQs

  • What is a splinter hemorrhage?

A splinter hemorrhage is when there is bleeding under the nails, both the fingernails and the toenails. This bleeding looks like long, reddish-brown lines and gives the appearance that there is a splinter under the nail. Hence, it is called a splinter hemorrhage, even though there is no splinter lodged in the skin (9).

  • What happens when splinters are left untreated?

Leaving a splinter untreated is usually not advised as an infection can develop. Sometimes, the body can close off the split in the skin with the splinter still inside. Here, it can either cause no pain or be a constant irritant. It can develop infections depending upon how dirty the site of entry was. It is always recommended to remove the foreign particle from the body in order to avoid infections.

Keep in mind that no matter what method you use, it is important to clean the wound caused by the splinter with antiseptic soap and water before using any home remedy.

The solutions listed above are some easy to find, inexpensive home remedies for splinters to help you with their removal. Hopefully, the next time you take that walk barefoot, the splinter will stay away. But if a stray sliver does find its way inside your skin, try these remedies out and let us know which one worked best.

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