When I used to get splinters, my mom always told me to "Leave it alone. It will fall out by itself." Well, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. Especially with cases of MRSA on the rise, it's a good idea to remove all splinters as soon as possible. If you can't do it yourself, ask your hubby or see a doctor.
Otherwise, the skin could grow over it and/or an infection may result.
Just listen to what one mom had to say:
"When I was in the 5th grade, I somehow ended up with a splinter on the inside of my elbow and we thought we got it all out," she says. "We missed some of it and I ended up with a form of skin eating bacteria! My little hole from taking the splinter out turned into the size of a dime and took a few weeks of antibiotics to get rid of it."
Here's a step-by-step for removing a splinter, though there's nothing too surprising here. You need tweezers, possibly a needle, and quick determination.
- Wash your hands and the splinter site with soap and water. One mom suggests soaking in a bath of Epsom salt to make the process easier.
- Pinch the area around the splinter and grab the end of the shard with sterilized tweezers (boiled for five minutes or rinsed with rubbing alcohol) and pulling it out at the same angle it went in.
- Use a sterilized needle or pin to cut a slit in the skin if you need better access.
- After removal, wash with soap and rinse, then apply antibiotic ointment.
Do you follow this advice and remove your splinters right away, or do try to let them work themselves out on their own? What's the worst splinter you ever had?
Written by Cynthia Dermody for CafeMom's Healthy Living Buzz