-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, Aug. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The carefree barefoot
days of summer can increase your risk of getting a splinter --
pieces of wood or other foreign bodies that are partially or fully
stuck in the skin.
Most splinters are easily taken care of at home. But, some deep
splinters may need medical attention.
Dr. Sampson Davis, an emergency room physician at Meadowlands
Hospital Medical Center in New Jersey, provided the following tips
on how to safely remove a splinter:
Some splinters may not be easily or safely removed at home,
Davis noted in a hospital news release. Seek medical attention if
the splinter seems very deep or if it is lodged under a fingernail.
If a child with a splinter is unable to sit still long enough to
allow it to be removed, it's a good idea get help from a medical
Splinters may contain germs, including bacteria. As a result,
anyone who gets a splinter may develop an infection. Davis pointed
out that signs of infection include:
In rare cases, very large, deep splinters may affect nerves,
tendons or even the blood vessels. In these cases, people may have
issues with sensation or movement.
People with a splinter treated in the emergency room will likely
be given antibiotics if it's infected, Davis said. Anyone treated
for a splinter who is not protected against tetanus will be
vaccinated for tetanus.
People with diabetes, cancer, kidney disease or another chronic
medical condition may also be given antibiotics to prevent
infection. Anyone with diabetes that gets a splinter in the foot
may also need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. Diabetes increases
the risk for poor circulation and nerve damage. As a result, a
splinter in the foot could result in severe complications.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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