As the weather begins to cool this time of year it may feel tempting to remove our shoes and socks and run barefoot. The obvious main risk for this is getting a sliver or splinter, these common injuries are possible indoors just as they are outdoors.
If you get a splinter this year here are some tips and tricks to help remove them. First you must identify if it is a splinter. Small splinsters are often not felt when entering the skin and identified later as a localized area of tenderness and redness with a slightly visible splinter. Larger objects are certainly felt and easily identifiable. Some objects that enter our skin are not readily visible such as plastic or glass. If there is any question as to what may have entered the skin or why there is a painful redness it would be best to get it examined at our office.
If you have identified a splinter and it is not too deep or fragile you should attempt to remove it yourself. A good first step many people miss is to soak the foot in warm water thenreach for the tweezers. Remember to wash your hands and the area around the splinter. Then using sterile tweezers (sterilize with rubbing alcohol, iodine, or boiling water for 10 min) pinch the skin around the splinter to slightly elevate the end of the splinter you can see. Grasp the splinter gently and pull in the exact opposite direction it entered being careful to not break the end of the splinter leaving a smaller piece embedded deep within the skin. Remember to wash the area after the splinter is removed.
If the splinter is difficult to remove or if the end is broken off do not attempt to dig for it. At this point it is recommended to come into Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists and let us determine the best way to remove the object in a sterile manner. Also come into our office if the area become increasingly red, drains pus, or becomes worse after removal. Often times an embedded object can be easily removed in the office with a bit of local anesthetic, proper instruments, and a magnifying glass.
If you have trouble with a splinter this fall consider making an appointment to see Dr. Jay Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists and get it checked out. Our office has the instruments, sterile set-up, and evidence based techniques to help you find relief.