Wood splinters are painful and can cause infection, if left unattended. If the splinter is too deep for removal with nails or a pair of tweezers, there is no need to enlarge the wound by digging it out with a needle. Instead, dissolve it under the skin. This is an especially useful technique for children, as it reduces the trauma of removing splinters. There are a number of ways to remove a splinter using natural remedies.
Cut a piece of banana skin that is big enough to cover the wound. Place the inside of the banana skin on the splinter and bandage it overnight. Enzymes in the banana peel help dissolve the splinter under the skin. Remove the bandage in the morning and discard the skin.
Make a poultice to draw the splinter out and dissolve it. Mix enough water, with a teaspoon of baking soda, to make a paste. Smear the paste over the affected area and seal it with a bandage or medical tape. Remove the bandage after a few hours to see if the splinter is out. If so, clean the area with a disinfectant. If not, leave the poultice on for another couple of hours. The baking soda causes the skin to swell, which dislodges the splinter and moves it to the surface of the skin.
Slice an onion or a tomato and apply it to the splinter. Cover it with a bandage or medical tape. Enzymes in both onions and tomatoes work to dissolve the splinter. Remove the bandage, to check the progress and reapply, if the splinter has not completely dissolved.
Disinfect the area after the splinter is removed, to help prevent infection.
Nicole Fotheringham has been a writer since 1997. She was born in South Africa and began as a reporter for the "Natal Mercury" and "Cape Argus" newspapers. Fotheringham has a master's degree in English literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.