Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All Site Map


Walking barefoot on a rough deck, or handling wood, metal or fiberglass, can cause splinters in hands and feet that are annoying but not life threatening. Here are some easy tips to remove splinters:

Get out the tape

  • Try placing common cellophane or duct tape over the splinter, then gently pull the tape off, away from the splinter. Sometimes this is painless and easy way to remove a small foreign object.


  • If the tape doesn’t work, wash your hands thoroughly. Don’t wet the splinter, as that will make it harder to remove all at once.

  • Using alcohol-sterilized tweezers, grab the splinter’s end and pull it out gently. A small magnifying glass can be a handy tool to help see the splinter.

Sterilize a needle

  • If the splinter is too embedded to remove with tweezers, wash your hands thoroughly, sterilize a needle and make a small hole in the skin over the foreign object. Then use the sterilized tweezers to remove the object.

Clean the area

  • Squeeze the area to allow any bleeding to wash out germs. Clean the wound with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment, and cover with a bandage.

Call the doctor

  • If the splinter is close to an eye, if it’s very large or deeply embedded in the skin, or if part of the splinter breaks off and stays in the wound.



Sources: and This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions regarding a medical condition.


Related Content

First-Aid Tips

First Aid Tips

Don't let a minor injury slow you down! Basic advice for 10 common wounds.

A Mother's Musings

A Mother's Musings

Our resident Mom peels back the curtains of life on the home front - injuries, mishaps, joys and all.

How It Works

How It Works

See 3M innovation at work in our product anatomy lessons.