Topic Overview

Before using tweezers or a needle, try using cellophane tape to
remove a splinter. Simply put the tape over the splinter, then pull the tape
off. The tape will stick to the splinter and remove it painlessly. If tape
doesn’t work:

  • Wash your hands well with soap and
  • Grasp the end of the splinter with clean tweezers, and
    gently pull it out.
  • If the splinter is embedded in the skin, clean
    a needle with alcohol and make a small hole in the skin over the end of the
  • Lift the splinter with the tip of the needle until it
    can be grasped with the tweezers and pulled out.
  • Do not wet or soak
    the splinter because it will be harder to remove in one
  • After the splinter has been removed, clean the wound and
    watch for any
    signs of infection.

You may need medical care if the splinter:

  • Is very large.
  • Is deeply embedded
    in the skin.
  • Cannot be easily removed.
  • Is in the
  • Broke off and part of it remains in the wound or if you are
    uncertain if the splinter has been removed.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 20, 2017