Splinters can be small pieces of wood, metal or glass. They are sharp or pointed, allowing them to easily penetrate your skin or your eye. Everyone gets a splinter from time to time and it often happens during an unguarded moment. For example, you could be working in the garden, or you may be handling an unprocessed piece of wood a little too carelessly. The splinters, which protrude above your skin, usually do no harm and are easy to remove yourself. Subcutaneous or deeper splinters must be removed by your GP or a specialist. It’s never advisable to leave a splinter where it is, because that can cause serious complications. Overzicht gezondheidsklachten
The symptoms will differ depending on where the splinter is located. The symptoms will also depend on the material the splinter has come from.Splinter in the skin.
- You will often see a splinter sticking out of the surface of your skin, or you’ll see a dot on your skin.
- You’ll feel a sharp stabbing pain where the splinter is. It may also sting when you rub the area.
- You will see a discolouration under the epidermis.
- You may have an infected, festering or difficult to heal wound. You often won’t know a splinter has penetrated. The splinter is then difficult to see.
- Your eye is tearing up.
- Your eye is red and painful.
- You immediately suffer from the above symptoms, or not until a few days later. This will depend on the speed with which the splinter got into your eye.
- An iron splinter can start rusting in your eye within a few days.
- This may negatively affect your vision.
- You may have difficulty tolerating light.
What you can do about a splinter will depend on where the splinter is.Splinter in the skin.
- Use tweezers to remove the splinter.
- Grab the splinter and pull it out of your skin lengthways.
- Rinse the wound with water and disinfect it with iodine if necessary. Then dry the area around the wound with a clean cloth.
- Apply a bandage to the wound if necessary. Although it’s better to let the wound air dry.
- Carefully try to remove the splinter with the tip of a handkerchief or with a wet cotton swab.
- Rinse your eye with lukewarm water. Do this by holding your head under the tap and looking into the beam of water. Pull your eyelids to the side with your index finger and thumb at the same time. This will allow the splinter to slide out of your eye more effectively.
- Don’t pull the splinter out with tweezers yourself. This can seriously damage your eye.
- Take a paracetamol if you are in severe pain.
- Wear sunglasses if you can’t tolerate light due to your symptoms.
You should contact your GP if:
- The splinter is under your skin and therefore difficult to remove.
- The splinter is in front of your pupil or on your iris.
- The splinter is deep in your eye.
- The above advice did not help.
- The splinter in your eye is metal or glass.
- You have a splinter in your eye and it is negatively affecting your vision. This also applies if the splinter has already been removed from your eye.
- You have, or have had, a splinter in your eye and you can no longer tolerate light.
- You are in a great deal of pain, your wound has become infected, or your symptoms have worsened .
- Your symptoms have not improved after two days.