Skin Foreign Body

Disponible En Espanol


Care at Home

  • TINY, PAIN-FREE SLIVERS: * Tiny, pain-free slivers near the skin surface can be left in. * They will slowly work their way out with normal shedding of the skin. * Sometimes, the body also will reject them by forming a little pimple. This will drain on its own.
  • TINY PAINFUL PLANT STICKERS: * Plant stickers or cactus spines are hard to remove. Fiberglass spicules may also be hard to get out. Reason: They are fragile. Most often, they break when pressure is applied with a tweezers. * TAPE. First, try touching the spot lightly with tape. The stickers should attach to the tape. You can use packaging tape, duct tape or another very sticky tape. * WAX HAIR REMOVER. If tape doesn't work, use wax hair remover. Put a thin layer on. Let it air dry for 5 minutes. You can also speed up the process with a hair dryer. Then peel it off with the stickers. Most will be removed. The others will usually work themselves out with normal shedding of the skin.
  • NEEDLE AND TWEEZERS: * For large slivers or thorns, remove with a needle and tweezers. * Check the tweezers first. Be certain the ends (pickups) meet exactly. If they do not, bend them. Clean the tool with rubbing alcohol before using them. * Clean the skin around the sliver briefly with rubbing alcohol. Do this before trying to remove it. If you don't have any, use soap and water. Caution: Don't soak the spot if the foreign body is wood. Reason: Can cause swelling of the splinter. * Use the needle to uncover the large end of the sliver. Use good lighting. A magnifying glass may help. * Grasp the end firmly with the tweezers. Pull it out at the same angle that it went in. Get a good grip the first time. This is important for slivers that go straight into the skin. This is also important for those trapped under the fingernail. * For slivers under a fingernail, sometimes part of the nail must be cut away. Use a fine scissors to expose the end of the sliver. * Slivers (where you can see all of it) often can be removed at home. Pull on the end. If the end breaks off, open the skin with a sterile needle. Go along the length of the sliver and flick it out.
  • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: * Wash the area with soap and water before and after removal. * Use an antibiotic ointment once after sliver is taken out. An example is Polysporin. No prescription is needed. This will help to decrease the risk of infection.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * You can't get the FB out * FB is out, but pain gets worse * Starts to look infected * Your child becomes worse

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