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#1
Old 12-08-2008, 11:35 PM
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I have a small splinter in my fingernail. Advise?

It's in my left ring finger, and not very big, I can barely even see it in there. It hurts, but not terribly. I can't cut my fingernail any more to get to it without causing pain from going too deep.

I suppose I could try tweezers, but that seems like it might hurt like hell.

Is it safe to let it grow out? Will it grow out?

I'd really hate to have to screw around with a doctor's appointment if it isn't needed.

Thanks,

Jeff
#2
Old 12-08-2008, 11:49 PM
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IANAD, but I would try hydrogen peroxide.
#3
Old 12-08-2008, 11:58 PM
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If it was me, I would try tweezers especially if the splinter is in one fairly solid chunk. You can get benzocaine over-the counter if it seems too painful, but I would never take a chance leaving a splinter in my skin. Ouch! Sorry this has happened to you!

(Unlike what happened to me in the 90s, I got a splinter of wooden paneling lodged under my thumbnail all the way to the base of the nail, and had to get it all numbed up and my thumbnail removed! Hard to forget that one!
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#4
Old 12-09-2008, 12:12 AM
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Try putting a big blob of antibacterial ointment on it, cover it with a bandaid and leave it alone overnight. That's what I did this once because my doctor's appointment wasn't until the following day. I found to my relief that, left alone overnight, the evil thing worked itself out in all the goo.

Next time it happened, I tried the same thing and it worked again. Good luck.
#5
Old 12-09-2008, 02:10 PM
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Here's the guaranteed cure: crack a chicken egg, get a little tiny bit of that ultrathin membrane on the inside of the egg, spread it over the splinter overnight, and PRESTO! The splinter will be drawn out far enough so that it can be easily removed with tweezers! I don't know how it works, but it does.....
#6
Old 12-09-2008, 02:17 PM
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I've had luck either putting a drop of nail polish or superglue on the exposed end and then popping the whole thing off after it hardens. This may not work for you if you can't apply it without contacting your fingernail though.
#7
Old 12-09-2008, 02:59 PM
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It's either in an area that won't like it, or it's not.

If it is, it will most likely work its way out on its own. I've had numerous splinters that did this because they were too hard to dig out. I'd go with the antibiotic ointment and a bandaid until it comes out (could be tomorrow, could be a few days).

If it's not, then it will most likely grow out with your fingernail. Don't see how that would cause any problems either.

I'd just be patient as long as it doesn't look infected and doesn't bother you too much. Obviously, if it gets very painful or looks like it's getting infected (red, swollen, hot, etc.), then a visit to the doc would be in order.
#8
Old 12-09-2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon sunshine View Post
but I would never take a chance leaving a splinter in my skin.
Why not? Chance of infection?
#9
Old 12-09-2008, 08:21 PM
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I have had the extreme misfortune of getting a 3/16" long aluminum splinter through the center of my left little fingernail. Not terribly painful, but annoying as all get out. After two days of fumbling with it, and removing the very small exposed portion with my efforts, I ended up at the walk-in doc-in-a-box to have the trusty PA remove it.

After trying tweezers and various picks, the final blow was to load up my finger with lidocaine injections to numb it, and remove three quarters of my fingernail with a pair of shears. Then she could grab the splinter with tweezers and pull it out. Four weeks later, you'd never know I was missing the nail.

Not fun in the least. It hurt my pride more than anything to go to the doctor's to get it taken care of, but I don't see how it would have grown out with the nail. It looked more as if the nail would have laid it down and held it underneath for eternity. The doctor's was the last resort.

I feel your pain.
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#10
Old 12-09-2008, 10:07 PM
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Unless your tweezers have very fine tips, you will probably do better with a needle to remove the splinter. In my experience, it's less painful probing around with a thin needle than with a pair of tweezers. Drawing blood is not necessarily a bad thing as this will stain the splinter and make it easier to see, once you suck the rest of the blood from the area. If you have to leave it in, chances are good your finger will fester up in a few days and it will come out with the puss when you squeeze it.
#11
Old 12-09-2008, 11:13 PM
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Some first aid kits have these little pin things in blister packs. It's pointy, but also has two sharpened edges. They are sterile and absolutely brilliant at digging out splinters. My beautician recommended them for ingrown hairs.
#12
Old 12-10-2008, 01:36 AM
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Vodka and needlenose pliers: rip the nail off, and then extract the splinter with ease!
#13
Old 12-10-2008, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadhead Dave View Post
Here's the guaranteed cure: crack a chicken egg, get a little tiny bit of that ultrathin membrane on the inside of the egg, spread it over the splinter overnight, and PRESTO! The splinter will be drawn out far enough so that it can be easily removed with tweezers! I don't know how it works, but it does.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Projammer View Post
I've had luck either putting a drop of nail polish or superglue on the exposed end and then popping the whole thing off after it hardens. This may not work for you if you can't apply it without contacting your fingernail though.
Am I the only one hoping for a splinter soon so I can try these? My job involves woodworking and splinters are not uncommon, and I have never heard of either of these approaches. Left in my home without the internet I might have eventually arrived at the glue/nailpolish idea, but the egg one intrigues me, and I don't think I would've thought of it on my own.

When I was a kid my mom always advocated soaking for splinters that weren't easily retrieved with just a needle or tweezers, and it worked, but I think the ointment idea would work similarly.
#14
Old 12-10-2008, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for all the tips everyone!

After looking at it closer yesterday there was no way I was going to get tweezers in there. It was just too deep. And being that it was annoying as hell to type with it (and I'm a programmer" I decided to hit the nearby Urgent Care. After a shot of lidociane* into my finger tip, a minor cut back of my nail and some digging around it was out. Today it is pretty much 100%. Just a little tenderness from the nail being cut back a bit, but I'm used to that.

Jeff

*I've had lidocaine in my arms and my forehead. But that shot into my finger was so fucking painful. Not fun.
#15
Old 12-10-2008, 09:57 PM
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I don't mean to pry, GL, but how much did that set you back?
#16
Old 12-11-2008, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Thin Ice View Post
I don't mean to pry, GL, but how much did that set you back?
I gave them my insurance card, so I won't know until they bill me. If I remember (not likely) I'll post here with an update when the bill comes.

Jeff
#17
Old 12-11-2008, 12:51 PM
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I know at our walk-in clinic, it would be co-pay only. I go there with things like ear infections, clean out my ear I can't hear please, cuts that need stitches...and I only ever pay $10 except when x-rays were extra.
#18
Old 12-11-2008, 02:55 PM
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Thanks to both of you.
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