How to Remove a Sliver

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How to Remove a Sliver. Slivers may be tiny, but they can be quite painful. Left to fester, a wound from a sliver can become infected. For this reason, you should immediately remove any slivers that pierce your skin. Relax; it's not as bad as you might think!

Things You'll Need

  • Sticky tape
  • White glue
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing needle
  • Adhesive bandage

Exposed Slivers

Assess the problem. If the area is covered in sawdust or other material which makes it difficult to see, brush it off.

Wash your hands, the area around the splinter and a pair of tweezers thoroughly with hot, soapy water.

Cover an exposed sliver with piece of sticky tape. Remove the tape, and often the sliver will stick to it, pulling right out of the skin. This is a great method to use on frightened children! If the tape fails, proceed to step four.

Place a dab of white glue on the sliver and allow to dry. Peel away the glue and the splinter may come away with it. If not, continue with step five.

Remove the sliver with tweezers. To keep pieces from breaking off under the skin, pull out from the same angle it went in. If this method fails, advance to the Embedded Slivers section.

Embedded Slivers

Wash your hands, the area around the splinter, a pair of tweezers and a sewing needle with soapy, hot water.

Lay the sewing needle lengthwise across the skin, just below the deepest end of the splinter. The two should create a very short letter 'T' shape.

Press down on the needle and slowly run it upward. The pressure beneath the sliver and upward motion should begin gradually coaxing it out of the skin. Have patience, this may take several tries. Once enough of it is exposed, remove the splinter with a pair of tweezers.

No luck? You may have to pierce the skin. Use the tip of the needle to push from the bottom of the sliver toward the opening in your skin. Sometimes, a tiny push is all that's needed to expose enough to remove with tweezers.

Open the skin covering the splinter only as a last result. Carefully do so, one layer of skin at a time until you're able to reach the splinter. If the problem is more than a few layers deep, see a doctor for removal.

Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water, and apply an adhesive bandage to keep the wound clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • Very tiny slivers, which aren't bothersome, can be left in place. The body will eventually remove them on its own through normal skin shedding.
  • Splinters underneath a fingernail or toenail may be candidates for drawing salve. (Check your pharmacy.) They can also be left in place for the body to remove naturally.

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