Almost everybody has experienced the pain and anger which a splinter causes: pain because the darn thing is lodged somewhere usually in your hands or feet and anger because you should have been more careful.

Most splinters are just beneath the skin and can be easily removed. Before removing any splinter, you should take a deep breath and ask yourself, can I do this? For example, if the splinter appears deep and is irregular in shape, odds are you not going to get it out in one piece or at all. Mucking around with a tweezers causes tissue trauma and increases the risk of getting infected.

If you feel like you can manage the splinter removal, first cleanse the area around the splinter with soap and water thoroughly. Make sure your tweezers  are clean as well. Try to remove the splinter by reverse force. By this I mean pulling it out in the opposite direction that it went in. This way you are more likely to follow a tract through the skin already created when the splinter went in. After removal, clean the skin again with soap and water. You should clean the wound at least twice daily until the skin heals. If you develop redness, pus or red streaks especially in the setting of pain and or fever, see your doctor.

Should you decide not to remove the splinter, keeping the wound clean and watching for signs of infection as per above works for most wounds. However, if you happen to have stepped on something with shoes on, you should see your doctor as these wounds are more likely to become infected. Also, if you have cancer, diabetes or other serious illness you should see your doctor first. Finally, if you happen to have been working on rose bushes and have a splinter of a  rose thorn, have your doctor take a look. Rose bushes can transmit one nasty bug called sporotrichosis.