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Splinters may seem like a minor annoyance that you can treat yourself at home. However, deep splinters have an increased chance of infection and you may also have bacteria left behind even after you remove them. Here’s how MedExpress can help you deal with any splinter issue.


Splinters are small foreign bodies such as wood pieces, plant thorns, animal barbs or metal and glass slivers. They should be removed as soon as possible to prevent infection and further injury.1

To remove one, you should use a sterilized pair of tweezers, a needle or a splinter remover tool. Start by cleaning the area around the splinter with antibacterial soap and water to reduce infection risk. Then, use the tool of your choice to gently remove the foreign body.

How do you know if a splinter is too deep? If you have any of the following symptoms, immediately stop attempting to remove the foreign body yourself and get medical attention:1

  • Tingling and throbbing
  • Swelling
  • The surrounding skin becomes red
  • Intense pain
  • Pus discharge from the wound
  • Loss of motion when your hand or finger is moving

These symptoms indicate that the splinter has become infected or that it may be damaging a nerve or muscle. At this point, you should be examined by a provider and not remove the foreign object by yourself. Visit MedExpress for treatment and to ensure that any infection or further damage is reduced.

If the splinter is too deep to remove yourself, don’t dig or cut into the area. Instead, visit your neighborhood MedExpress. You should also turn to us if the foreign object is barbed or if you are unable to remove the entire object from your skin. We have the expertise and medical tools to safely and efficiently remove your splinter, keeping you from injuring yourself or increasing the risk of infection. Also, if you require stitches or wound treatment, we’re ready to clean and close your wound.

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splinter removal at MedExpress

Need a splinter removed? Schedule an appointment online or walk in any time from 8 to 8 every day.


For your convenience, we accept most major insurance, most of which cover splinter removal. To verify that your insurance is in-network, visit the Plan Your Visit page. We also offer a discount to those patients who choose to pay in full for their visit at the time of service. Self-pay services are $199.

Prevent an infected splinter

children playing on playgroundSplinters have the potential to be dangerous if they are not removed properly. If left in your skin, they can cause an inflammation or infection.

Some splinters are also more dangerous than others, including those from poison oak and poison ivy, which can cause an allergic reaction.1

If you are unsure whether your splinter is dangerous or has become infected, visit MedExpress for examination and treatment before you deal with increased risk of pain and further injury.

Additionally, even if you remove a deep splinter at home, there’s the chance that it has not been properly cleaned. Splinters and slivers may also cause skin trauma and become an inclusion cyst, which is a hard mass that must be removed.1

Splinters may also cause tetanus, which is an infection caused by spores of bacteria that come into a break in your skin. While most of us are vaccinated against tetanus, you should either get a Tdap or tetanus shot every ten years. For your convenience, they’re both available at MedExpress.

If you choose to have your splinter removed at MedExpress, your provider will determine whether or not you need antibiotics. Bacteria found in nature such as staphylococcus aureus or golden staph may come from a splinter. Your MedExpress team will examine you for this and help set your mind at ease.


  1. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Ask a Doctor: Splinters, Slivers, and Foreign Bodies. Last updated February 6, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023.
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