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How to Get Splinter Out From Under Nail?

Are you in pain from a pesky splinter that has worked its way underneath your nail? It can be extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient to have this problem.

Fortunately, there is a fairly simple way to remove the splinter without causing yourself any additional discomfort.

In this article, I’ll share easy-to-follow instructions on how to get splinter out from under nail safely and quickly.

Woman trying to remove a splinter from her skin using a pair of tweezers

What Happens To The Skin When We Get A Splinter?

When we get a splinter, our skin responses as an immune response to the foreign object.

The area around the splinter becomes red and inflamed due to the body releasing histamines and cytokines, which trigger white blood cells to travel to the injury site to engulf any bacteria that may be present.

This is one of the ways our body begins its healing process. As this occurs, new cells are created, collagen production is increased and your body starts sending more blood cells along with nutrients and oxygen to heal the injured area quickly.

As this happens, collagen builds up in the surrounding area, forming a visible ridge on either side of where the splinter was located known as granulation tissue; this helps prevent further infection and irritation.

Your body’s natural defense system will create a scab over top of where the foreign object once resided, providing further protection from infection while simultaneously prompting heavy wound healing activities beneath it.

Therefore when you get a splinter, your bodies natural healing capability goes into effect, meaning you can eventually remove it safely without too much risk of infection or further injury.

Why Is It Important To Remove A Splinter At Home?

Removing a splinter is important for several reasons. Firstly, if left untreated, a splinter can become infected as it has the potential to remain lodged in the skin and not naturally fall out.

If left untreated, there may be signs of redness and swelling around the area of the splinter, as well as pain or even discomfort when movements are made near the site of insertion.

In extreme cases, an infection could occur which could require medical attention or antibiotics to clear up properly.

Leaving a splinter can create further complications if it travels deeper into tissue or muscle.

Causing abscesses or cysts that could require surgical removal under anesthetic; something that is obviously more complicated than simply removing a small piece of wood.

It is therefore always best to remove any foreign objects from your body promptly and efficiently before any possible problems arise.

In terms of prevention, it is better to take necessary precautions such as wearing protective clothing when working with wood outside (i.e. thick gloves) so that you do not need to take on this task at all.

Otherwise, clean tweezers should be used and gently applied pressure downwards against the direction of entry.

So that you can begin to easily extract any embedded pieces before finally washing with soap and water after disposing responsibly into a bin where appropriate – wearing rubber gloves during this process will also help minimize risk.

Woman showing a new splinter on her finger

What Are The Signs of a Splinter Under the Nail?

Nail splinters happen when a piece of wood, glass, or metal gets lodged under the nail. The signs of a splinter under the nail may include redness, swelling, and pain in the area around the affected finger or toe.

In some cases, there might also be drainage from the wound, as well as discoloration or darkness of the nail itself.

Most often, it is easier to identify when a splinter is embedded, that is lodged underneath your toenail versus one which has gone below your fingernail, since toenails are thicker than those on fingers.

If you suspect that you have a splinter embedded in your skin, then it is important to act right away before it leads to an infection.

The first step should be cleaning and sanitizing both your hands and any objects you intend to use for removal.

Such as tweezers or scissors, with rubbing alcohol before attempting any kind of extraction process on the deep splinter, for safety purposes.

After extraction – if successful -the area should be washed gently with warm soapy water and covered with a sterile bandage until healing takes place over several days’ time.

If symptoms persist after attempting removal at home like extreme tenderness, redness/swelling extending beyond just near where the object was inserted into the skin, feverishness or throbbing pain; seek medical attention immediately for treatment by a healthcare provider who can properly address these issues quickly if necessary.

How to Get Splinter Out From Under Nail?

Removing a splinter from under a nail can be difficult to remove, as the splinter may be deep, and the skin around the splinter may be sore.

Before you start, make sure that the end of the splinter is visible—otherwise it may be too far embedded in the skin, for you to remove at home, and bring the splinter to the surface.

The best way to get a splinter out safely is with a pair of tweezers to remove and pull the splinter out.

Although, you need to sterilize before you use the tweezers to retrieve the deep splinter under the fingernail.

Gently grasp the end of the splinter, and get the splinter, and pull it straight out, to retrieve the embedded splinter.

Only use enough force to remove the entire splinter, as more forceful pulling may leave part of it behind.

If any part of the splinter is left inside, it may cause inflammation and infection that will require medical attention for removal.

Once you have removed the entire splinter, clean the area with an antiseptic or mild soap and water solution to prevent infection.

Apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin directly on top of where you pulled out the foreign body if there is redness or swelling around your nail or surrounding skin.

For larger foreign bodies like glass fragments, visit your doctor for examination and treatment as soon as possible because these are more complex to remove than simple slivers and tend to be painful if not treated properly.

These professionals have special tools that should help make removal easier than using objects found at home, such as bent paperclips or pins.

Which can cause further trauma to an already irritated nail bed area if used improperly.

Woman showing a splinter

How To Use Tweezers For Splinter Removal Under Fingernails

When you try to remove a splinter under your fingernails, you will want to make sure that you take the proper steps, so you can successfully remove the splinter with tweezers.

If you can see the splinter, you need to try and remove as much of the splinter as you can with your own hands or with a pair of tweezers if it is sticking out enough for you to see.

If the splinter is exposed, then use the tweezers in a steady motion to pull it out of your skin. If it is not external, then there are other steps that can be taken.

Soak the area with soap and water for several minutes – this should soften up any remaining pieces of splinter, making them easier for removal.

To remove any remaining pieces, use tweezers to remove the splinter, again, but at an angle to grab onto what remains.

Then, gently pull it away from your skin while keeping tension on the tweezer arms so that they don’t slip off while removing it with tweezers.

The most important part when using tweezers for splinter removal under fingernails is keeping your movements slow and steady because sudden movements could cause discomfort or pain which could lead to further injury.

How To Use Baking Soda To Remove A Splinter

Using baking soda to remove a splinter is an easy and effective home remedy. Start by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste.

Apply the water and baking soda paste liberally over the affected area and rub it in for about 10 minutes.

Then, rinse off the area with clean water.

The entire splinter should be embedded under the skin; if you can see any portion of it, try using tweezers or a needle to grab onto it and pull it out slowly.

If the entire splinter is embedded, then soak the affected area in warm water mixed with baking soda for 10–15 minutes.

This will help soften your skin and make it easier to push the splinter out, without causing pain or damage to surrounding tissue.

After soaking, gently press around the edges of the splinter until you feel it start to pop out of your skin.

You may need some extra pressure if you feel like the splinter does not want to come out easily – but be sure not to hurt yourself during this step.

Finally, rinse off any residue from your skin once again with warm water and soap, leaving no trace of baking soda behind on your body.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Splinters

Using rubbing alcohol to remove a splinter may be an effective solution for you. Start by taking a cotton swab and soaking it in the rubbing alcohol.

At one end of the splinter, carefully apply the soaked cotton swab onto your skin until enough of the splinter has been removed.

Be sure not to push too hard against your skin, as this can cause further irritation or even push the splinter further into your flesh.

Next, gently hold the edge of the cotton swab against it and pull outward in a direction opposite that the splinter is entering.

If necessary, use a magnifying glass to ensure all parts of the splinter have been extracted from underneath your skin surface.

Once all pieces of the splinters have been removed, clean with soap and water or apply disinfectant ointment on top of it as needed.

This method should help you effectively remove any foreign material embedded within your skin without using tweezers or other hazardous tools.

Although, if you are still having difficulty extracting it, then see a doctor, who will be able to assist you with removing it safely.

Man with a splinter under his fingernail


Having a splinter lodged under your nail can be painful, but fortunately, there are several ways to remove it safely and quickly.

The most common method is to use tweezers or a needle to extract the foreign object; however, other methods may work as well, such as using baking soda or rubbing alcohol.

It is important to sterilize any tools you intend to use for removal and take caution when extracting the splinter, so you do not cause further injury from being too aggressive.

It is wise to seek medical attention if the area around the wound appears red or swollen despite proper treatment at home.