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Splinters and Thorns etc: When do I need medical help?

When should I visit a doctor or urgent care for a splinter or foreign object?

Foreign objects (wood splinters, thorns, glass, nails, etc.) can cause pain, bleeding, and infection if they get into your skin or eyes. In mild cases, you can carefully remove the foreign body yourself using first aid. However, if the object is deeply embedded, do not remove it. Seek medical attention from a healthcare provider, instead. You should also see a doctor if the item is difficult to remove, or if the wound is deep or dirty and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in five years or more. 

In non-emergency situations, our healthcare providers can help: 

  • Remove splinters and foreign objects, including those deeply embedded in the skin and muscle. 
  • Treating eye injuries and removing objects from eyes
  • Safely removing foreign objects from the ears and nose
  • Providing bandages, antibiotics, tetanus shots and other care as needed

If you carefully remove the object yourself and the pain persists after it’s been removed, you may want to visit a healthcare provider.

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