When to Get Help for a Glass Splinter

Person about to step on glass


Glass splinters are painful and difficult to remove because they are transparent.

Splinters might seem like a minor discomfort but if not treated carefully, you can risk infection.

In this article, we are going to discuss what to do if you get a glass splinter embedded in your skin and when it is time to call your doctor.

Glass Splinters

If you get a glass splinter genuinely into your foot or hand or someplace, you’re going to want to try and remove it. If you cannot remove it or if the sliver area looks swollen with infection or red, call your doctor.

If you feel severe pain or cannot remove the sliver, then call your doctor or visit our urgent care clinic. You will need assistance. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in over five years, you are also going to want to see your doctor.

Taking Care of the Glass Splinter at Home

Pain-free and Tiny Splinters

Did you know that if have many little pain free slivers, you can leave them in? Your skin will naturally shed these splinters out. Or you will see your body reject them by building a pimple around it. The fragment will drain out.

Tiny Painful Fiberglass

If you get these fiberglass spicules, these are difficult to remove because they are so small and fragile. They can break if you try and remove them with tweezers because of the pressure.

Instead, try tape. Touch the area lightly with a piece of duct or packaging tape. If you find this doesn’t work, try wax hair remover.

Wax hair remover can be lightly applied to the area. Let it dry for five minutes or if you are in a rush dry the area with a hairdryer. Peel if off with the spicules. Most of them will be removed, and the remaining ones will shed off with the skin.

Tweezers and Needles

If you have a large glass splinter in your hand, try and remove it with tweezers and a needle. Make sure you sterilize them first with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the area where the splinter is. Rub it with alcohol or was with water and soap. Do not soak the area.

Use the needle to expose the more significant part of the fragment. Make sure you have bright lighting and use a magnifying glass if you need a better visual.

Grasp the end with tweezers and pull it at the same angle it slid in.

Get a good grip. For splinters under a fingernail, you may need to maneuver and cut a part of the nail away so you can expose the end of the fragment.

Splinters that are horizontal can be removed by pulling on the end. If by accident, the end breaks off, open the skin with a sterile needle, and flick it out.

Antibiotic Ointment

Once the splinter is removed, wash the area with water and soap. You will reduce the risk of infection by using an antibiotic ointment after the splinter has been removed.

Glass Splinters

In this article, we discussed how to remove a glass splinter. Be careful and make sure you are in a room with bright lighting and wash the area where the sliver is.

However, if you cannot get the splinter out, you are going to need to call your doctor. If the pain persists after it’s been removed, you will also want to call your doctor.

If you want to learn more about when to visit your doctor if you are still feeling unwell, read this article we wrote.