You may have heard someone say that the worst kind of cut is a paper cut. Frankly, I’m skeptical. I’m thinking a cut made by a chainsaw or a Samurai sword just might hurt a little bit more. I don’t personally care to put my skepticism to the test, but I do know one thing for sure: some paper cuts most definitely hurt a lot less than getting splinter. Even the name splinter kind of hurts to speak out loud, doesn’t it? Do you know what to do if you get a splinter? Here’s another thing I know for sure. The worst time to realize you don’t know what to do when you get a splinter is when you get a splinter. Which is why you may want to try committing some of these tips to memory now for later use when needed.
Splinter or Not?
You can’t remove a splinter if you aren’t sure whether you’ve got one or not. If you suspect you are dealing with situation that you suspect is a splinter situation, but it is not immediately obvious, try an old trick you probably used to enjoy when you were a kid. Go to a room you can made as dark as possible. Turn on a flashlight and press it up against your finger to create that really cool X-ray effect. If you are dealing with a splinter in your finger, you should be able to detect its location in silhouette form.
Before you take any other actions to remove a splinter, the first thing you want to do is sterilize the area of skin around it. Simple soap and water should be more than enough to sterilize the skin in most cases. If the splinter came about as a result of dealing with some rather filthy conditions, take a step upward to hydrogen peroxide. If things look really prone to infection and you can stand maybe more than a little stinging sensation, then you might want to use a little rubbing alcohol. Regardless of how you sterilize things before removing a splinter, make sure any movement you make is in the direction away from the splinter itself so you avoid any possibility of making things worse by actually transporting dirt to the wound rather than away from it.
Tweezers remain one of the most effective tools for removing a splinter in many cases. The problem with tweezers as a mechanism for removing a splinter is, well, that there are many problems. First off, in the rush to just get the dang splinter out, you may forget that you need to sterilize the tweezers along with your skin. Boil some water, dip the tweezers in for about thirty seconds and don’t let the tips come into contact with any surface without sterilizing them all over again. But let’s say that you’ve gone a bang-up job of sterilizing the tweezers and then you try to grab hold of the splinter. Unless you’ve got a pair of tweezers with especially fine and sharp points, it can often be a major league headache.
How to Reduce that Headache
If you do find yourself having trouble getting a good grip on a sliver of wood that has splintered its way under your skin, there is a good way to make things easier on yourself. Soak the splintered area in very warm water for at least five minutes and probably longer. Given enough heat and enough time, soaking should cause a wood splinter to either ease slightly outward a little or to expand enough to make it easier to get a grip.
If there is absolutely no way for you to get a grip on a splinter either with fingernails or tweezers, try covering the area with good old-fashioned white glue of the type you used in elementary school. Allow the glue to dry and then carefully peel it away. Like what you used to do in elementary school, except instead of covering your whole hand, you just cover the area of the splinter. When you pull back the layer of “skin” made by the glue, the splinter may just possibly come effortlessly and painlessly sliding out.