How To Remove a Foreign Object From Under Your Skin
Splinters and foreign objects under the skin are a common hassle which most often affect the extremities such as the hands and feet. A surprising amount of pain and discomfort can be caused by a small object under the skin and there is also the possibility of infection if the body reacts to the presence of the foreign object. Fortunately these objects can generally be removed at home with a minimum of equipment and discomfort.
What you'll need:
Sterilized needle and tweezers
New, sterile razor blade or scalpel
Clean gauze/cotton wool
In the least severe of cases, removal may require little more than cleaning of the area with cotton wool and disinfectant liquid before pinching the surrounding area to bring the object nearer the surface. It can then be carefully removed with tweezers.
Sterilized needles and a razor blade/scalpel can be effective in removing slightly deeper objects. Use the needle to gently scrape the skin above the foreign object until it can be reached by the tweezers. Using a sterilized scalpel or razor blade to slowly incise the skin directly above a horizontal splinter will also allow you to reach a deeper object without causing too much discomfort as the skin will already have been desensitized by the entry of the object. Clean the area with disinfectant liquid before starting this procedure.
When dealing with deep splinters it is sometimes best to delay direct treatment and instead apply a 'drawing' ointment containing ichthammol which will help bring the foreign object to the the surface. This is dependent on the nature of the object as the body may reject an unrecognised material and form a boil or cyst around it, raising the chance of infection.
If a deep object continues to cause discomfort or starts to become inflamed and sore you should see your doctor.The object may have to be removed under anaesthetic.
Once the object has been removed, clean the area with warm water, treat it with hydrogen peroxide or antibacterial ointment and cover it with a bandage or plaster.
Immediate treatment is the best course of action when dealing with foreign objects no matter their depth or severity.
Placing the affected area in warm water before working on it is effective as it relaxes the cells and can bring the object nearer to the surface.
Always clean the area before treating it.
Ensure that the needles, razor blades and the scalpel are sterilized before use.