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4 Out of 5 Surgeons Don’t Recommend This

4 Out of 5 Surgeons Don’t Recommend This

Tiny splinters can be a pain to extract (literally). But with the right tools and setting, it might just work.

Splinter removal can be a highly rewarding practice. That *&^+%$#@?! tiny little piece of wood or glass can cause so much pain it’s disproportionately baffling. When my leg hurt when I was a kid my cousin would slug me solidly in the shoulder and ask, “Leg still hurt?” The brother of said cousin once crushed my shoulder into the sidewalk while we played Smash-Up Skateboarding and I heard something of a pop or crack. My mom said, “Oh, it’s nothing. It’ll be fine by morning.” By morning I was in a upper body cast with a broken collarbone.

In other words, I’m an extremely qualified medical practitioner. Here we go.

Don’t try this at home. Wait, I am at home and I am trying this. Well, that’s me. Don’t try this at home.

Tools required:

  1. Tweezers: I only work with the best. Attached magnifying glass, light and precision construction from Germany (see: The Only Tweezers You’ll Ever Need).
  2. Reese’s Pieces: the sugar rush helps with concentration and zero scientific studies by no universities have proven that eating Reese’s Pieces during surgery increase success rates.
  3. Wine: red or white, but more important is distance. Glass should be within reach of surgeon to prevent longer pauses in the procedure.

If you get your eyeball just right and fiddle with the distance of the magnifying glass, it’s amazing how clearly you can see the skin. It’s fascinating. If it’s your own finger, start digging away, plucking, tweezing and pulling. If it’s not your finger, you’ll have to judge the pain level by jerks in the arm or cringes in the fingers. If there is audible moaning, groaning or shrieks of pain, back off and have a sip of wine.

Dear Reader Disclaimer: this post has no value whatsoever. It’s not useful, careful or even all that funny. But I’ve been writing and talking and commenting quite a bit lately about Why I Write and one reason is … Just For Fun. Oh, I guess my disclaimer is a little late in the post here. Oh well. 

Splinters can slide right out with just a few Reese’s and less than a glass of wine. Others are trickier and require focus and holding your breath for extended periods of time to keep steady. If you have to breathe, remove your eyes and look elsewhere. Especially if you’ve drawn blood.

For particularly nasty splinters, try soaking the offending digit in warm water with some baking soda. At least, the general consensus at the table was baking soda, it might be something else (salt? coconut oil? vinegar?). In any case, soften up the area so your picking and tearing will be easier and might seem less painful.

If in the end you don’t succeed, give up and try again in the morning if it still hurts. Maybe it’ll come out on its own. The Reese’s Pieces and the wine are yours to keep.

The Ultimate Splinter Removal Packages will be on sale at a BevMo or hospital supply store maybe near you maybe soon. Please specify red or white.

Please share your bloody success stories in the comments! Especially if you have gruesome macro lens photos!


  1. Ron

    Ah the ol’ Cuzinn’ breaking the collarbone truck eh’?

    • Bradley

      You be the one! Sticks and stones can break my bones … and my cuz, too!

  2. Darcey

    Next time try making a poultice out of epsom salts (a pinch added to a regular band-aid) changed once a day or after it gets wet. It will help the sliver rise to the surface of the skin where it’s more readily accessible with tweezers. You can also try a magnesium sulfate paste: 🙂



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