Home Remedies for Splinters

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Anything made out of wood has the potential to leave a small sliver of material behind in the skin – best known as a splinter. Despite their size, splinters have the potential to cause great discomfort and even infection when overlooked. To remove these seemingly harmless scraps of wood, consider home remedies for splinters to free your skin of unwanted foreign objects.

splinter in finger

What is a Splinter?

A splinter is actually any foreign body that is partially or fully embedded in the skin. While typically comprised of wood, small pieces of glass, metal, and plastic materials are also considered a splinter. The worst cases usually involve foreign materials embedded or lodged under fingernails and toenails. The most common places to find a splinter include underneath the skin of the hand or foot.

Splinter Home Remedies

The majority of people suffering a splinter are successful in removing and treating their condition. Splinters often create a unique sensation, alerting an individual of its presence. However, don’t underestimate the power of something with such a small size – splinters carry germs. Many people have suffered an infection, inflammation, or an allergic/toxic reaction when they’ve gone unnoticed [1], which is why it’s important to get acquainted with the following home remedies for splinters:

a) Elmer’s Glue:

Pour a drop of Elmer’s Glue-All over the splinter. After it dries, you should be able to peel the dried glue off the skin with splinter attached.

b) Magnifying Glass:

Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the location or position of a splinter. Use a magnifying glass to gain a better look at the foreign object.

c) Soap and Water:

Before attempting to remove a splinter, thoroughly wash your hands and the splinter site with soap and water.

d) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Pour hydrogen peroxide over the location of a splinter. Within minutes, you should see your splinter lying outside of the skin, as the bubbling action of the hydrogen peroxide causes material to lift out of their hiding places.

e) Ice:

Place an ice cube on the skin to numb the area before attempting to remove a splinter.

f) Duct Tape:

Place a piece of duct tape over a splinter, and leave on for 30 minutes. Slowly peel away the tape to hopefully remove the foreign material out of your skin.

g) Tweezers:

One of the best ways to remove wood, fiberglass splinters, and small pieces of glass is to use a pair of slant-tip tweezers.

h) Egg Shell:

Crack a whole egg and empty the contents into a bowl. Place the inside (wet side) of the shell onto the splinter for a couple of minutes. Once removed, you should find that the splinter has worked its way up so that you can pick it out using a pair of tweezers.

i) Needle [2]:

Wipe rubbing alcohol on a clean, sharp needle, which you can use to break the skin covering your splinter. Use the needle to gently lift the tip of the foreign object.

j) Castor Oil:

For an overnight home remedy to treat stubborn splinters, rub on a small amount of castor oil and cover the splinter area with a Band-Aid. In the morning, the splinter will have surfaced for easy removal.

k) Warm Water Soak:

Try soaking in a relaxing warm bath for 10 to 15 minutes to coax out a wooden splinter. Use a washcloth and rub the skin outward – along the line of the splinter to make it surface. Usually, the splinter pops out on its own because water causes the wood to swell and travel towards the opening of your skin.


[1] http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030615/2557.html

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid/FA00055