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ParaParaYukiko's avatar

What should I do about the splinter lodged deep under my fingernail?

Asked by ParaParaYukiko (6103 points ) June 21st, 2010

Today at work I accidentally got myself a splinter of wood embedded under my middle fingernail. I tried to pull it out with my fingernails to no avail, and even my family’s kit of splinter-removing tweezers and such can’t reach far enough without causing a lot of pain. Any pressure on the nail causes a throbbing pain, and part of the tip of that finger has started to feel numb. The splinter is about 1/16” or 2mm long.

Are there any ways of coercing the splinter out without painful force, or should I go to the doctor?

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17 Answers

janbb's avatar

Raises hand and votes for the doctor option.

Aster's avatar

I’d try soaking it in very warm salt water for half an hr (after sawing the nail down as far as it will go) to see if it floats out. If not, you’d better see a doctor. GL

HGl3ee's avatar

I’m going to go with the majority and say Doctor on this one. It might just be a little splinter but it’s better to be safe than sorry, don’t risk it and ask a professional ;)

CMaz's avatar

I had that happen to me. Wait a couple of weeks. You will get through it.

That baby will come out, puss and all.

majorrich's avatar

how recent was your last tetanus shot?

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Thanks everyone! I iced the finger for a while and had my dad tug at the beast a bit with surgical tweezers, and miraculously it dislodged itself enough so that i could pull it out. My finger still aches and there’s a splinter-shaped bruise under the nail, but at least I didn’t have to go to the hospital! Luckily I’m up to date on my tetanus shots too, @majorrich, so I think I’ll be okay. :) Glad that didn’t take long, these last 10 hours have been quite unpleasant just because of a tiny piece of wood!

HGl3ee's avatar

@ParaParaYukiko : Yay! I always love happy endings :D

Rarebear's avatar

A really good fine point tweezers is a must in any home first aid kid.
http://www.amazon.com/Uncle-Bills-Tweezer-Co-Tweezers/dp/B001ANZNPS

lilikoi's avatar

So glad to hear you got it out. Sounds like it hurt!!

Thammuz's avatar

EDIT: nevermind, i didn’t notice you’ve made it on your own.

MaryW's avatar

I vote on the doctor visit
but I do not go for that, myself, as I just get a large needle or hat pin, put on my 2.7 reading glasses, pull the skin away from the nail with the hand that is impaled and with the other hand poke the splinter as low as I can and push the splinter against the nail with a lifting motion.
I have to be extremely focused to do this because it is a delicate operation.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ParaParaYukiko yeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! gosh, those things do hurt!

gailcalled's avatar

@Rarebear;—A really good fine point tweezers is also vital to remove an embedded tick. My doctor gives them (tweezers and not ticks) out to all patients.

tan235's avatar

The same thing happened to me!
I cut my nail as low as I could to the skin and then I soaked it every day in soapy water, then cut the nail again, and it grew out, took 4 days, it was painful but not infected, I wouldn’t go to the doctor unless it got infected, seriously it will grow up just keep your finger clean and your nail as clipped as possible!

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