Splinters can be very annoying, especially for children who find the prospect of having splinters removed with a needle too traumatic to contemplate. There are a number of household products that can act as effective poultices to draw splinters out. Once the splinter has been drawn to the surface of the skin it is easy to remove with tweezers. Always remember to apply an antiseptic cream to the wound after the splinter is removed to prevent infection.
Cut a small piece of banana peel, big enough to cover the wound. Place it over the wound (skin side out) and keep in place with an adhesive bandage. Leave overnight. Enzymes from the banana skin will draw the splinter to the surface. If you leave the banana skin on for long enough, the enzymes will dissolve the splinter altogether.
Make a paste by adding water to a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Gently apply the past to the affected area and cover with an adhesive bandage. Leave for a couple of hours. Check periodically to see if the splinter is out. The bicarbonate of soda causes the skin to swell, thereby dislodging the splinter and drawing it to the surface.
Cut a small slice of fresh tomato or orange. Place on the wound and cover with an adhesive bandage. The enzymes in the fruit will draw the splinter to the surface. Leave covered for a couple of hours. Check progress periodically. If the splinter has not moved, reapply the fruit bandage.
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Apply a small dab of honey to the affected area and cover with an adhesive bandage. The splinter will be drawn to the surface of the skin by the enzymes in the honey. The honey also acts as a natural antibiotic.
Once the splinter has moved to the surface, you can extricate it by running a nylon stocking over the skin. You can also cover the area with white craft glue which, when you peel it off, will take the splinter with it. Numb the area with ice when using a tweezers to extract the splinter.
Always treat the area with an antibiotic cream to 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.