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How to Remove Glass Splinters

by
author image Erica Roth
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.
How to Remove Glass Splinters
Father removing a splinter from his son's foot. Photo Credit MarkPiovesan/iStock/Getty Images

Splinter removal must be done with care and patience to avoid leaving pieces behind in a person’s skin. Fragments of splinters can lead to painful infections that may require professional medical attention. Glass splinters, one of the most common materials that can be wedged into the skin, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, are often tricky to remove because clear glass is hard to see.

Step 1

Wash your hands with soap and water before you remove the glass splinter.

Step 2

Sterilize a sewing needle or a pair of tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Tweezers that are tipped with a non-stick material may be especially effective for glass splinter removal, as glass is more slippery than wood or other foreign matters that may embed into the skin.

Step 3

Push aside any layer of skin that may be covering the glass shard, gently, with the needle or tweezers.

Step 4

Pull the piece of glass out of the skin with the needle or tweezers, working slowly and carefully so that you do not accidentally push the splinter further into the skin.

Step 5

Look at the de-splintered area with a magnifying glass to confirm that all of the glass has been removed. Clear glass may be difficult to locate, but will sometimes sparkle in the magnifying glass.

Step 6

Apply an antibiotic ointment to the skin. If the wound is large and in an area that may get dirty easily, cover with a bandage. Otherwise, the NIH states that exposure to the air helps the wound heal more quickly.

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