Sharp foreign objects like glass splinters shouldn’t be neglected, especially on foot where you often put your weight onto. Not only painful, but the skin affected by the glass can also offer a doorway for bacteria and fungi to access, thus causing serious infections.
So, how to get glass out of foot safely? When can you resolve the pain yourself, and when do you have to seek help from a medical professional?
Please follow the detailed guideline on removing the tiny shards out of your skin.
The Consequences Of Broken Glass Stuck On Foot
Getting glass on your feet brings no fun. When a sharp piece of broken glass tears the surface of your skin, bacteria, dust, fungi, and harmful can enter the wound. If the glass isn’t removed immediately, or eventually the glass stuck in foot for months, the open area can be prone to get an infection.
If you haven’t been fully vaccinated or gotten up-to-date tetanus boosters, you can suffer from clostridia tetani, caused by tetanus bacteria. These bacteria release harmful toxins into your nervous system.
Moreover, when the glass isn’t removed from your skin, your body can have inflammatory reactions. The affected area can have swelling or redness. There might be pockets of pus to push the splinter out.
According to a report by CDC in 2018, there were more than 145 million people visit emergency annually in the US. And the main reason for their visits is the glass got on their foot. Thus, this accident is common, especially when you walk on your barefoot outside.
Therefore, you need to get the glass out of your foot as soon as possible with sterilized tools.
How To Get The Glass Out Of Foot Without Pain?
Detect a suitable method
First and foremost, you need to choose a suitable method to remove a splinter out of your foot. The method will depend on:
- The area where the splinter is stuck
- The depth of the splinter
- The size of the splinter
- The direction of the splinter on your skin
Prepare essential tools
- Soap and water: soap and warm, clean water are simple yet effective tools to sterilize the pain and protect you from possible infections.
- Tweezers: Remember to use clean, sterilized tweezers to get the glass out of your foot. You can use this tool to remove pieces of broken glass or wood stuck on the skin surface.
- Needles: A sharp sewing needle can be used to uncover the hidden glass under your skin. Use a needle when the splinter is below the skin surface. And always remember to use a sterilized needle before use.
Steps to get glass out of your foot
As soon as you notice a stuck splinter on your foot, you need to find ways to remove it. This makes the glass removal simpler and less painful.
Step 1: Sterilization
Before removing the broken glass from your foot, you should sterilize your pain and tools to ensure that you are not introducing an infection into the broken skin.
Get into the bathroom, then wash your hands and the infected area thoroughly with soap and warm, clean water. Then, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to clean all water drops.
Next, sterilize your tweezers and needle by boiling them in hot water. Then, wipe them off with a pad or cotton ball of alcohol.
Step 2: Preparation
You should use the tools (tweezers and/or needles) as soon as possible after being sterilized. And avoid putting them on the floor or the counter as bacteria can stick onto them.
You can put them on a dry and clean paper towel while using them. You can apply antibiotic ointment to the affected skin area.
Step 3: Remove the glass splinters
Inspect the affected area. If you can see the glass, grasp it with the tweezers, then pull it straight up and out.
But, you can’t see the glass when it is covered under skin, which makes removing it much more challenging. In this case, you should use the sterilized needle to gently scrape the skin until a part of the glass gets uncovered. Then, pull it out using the tweezers.
You can also get the splinter out of your foot with suction.
- Warm a glass bottle with a small opening on the stove.
- When the bottle is hot (but won’t burn you), leave a little moisture on the area where the splinter is stuck.
- Then, press the bottle’s opening around that area.
- As the bottle gets cool, hold it against that area to cause suction and pull the splinter out.
Step 4: Wound caring
Once the glass has been completely removed, clean the cut one more time with warm soapy water to prevent infection. Dry it with a clean cloth.
Depending on the wound’s size, you can cover it with a bandage to speed up the healing process.
Home Alternatives To Remove The Glass Without Using Needles Or Tweezers
Besides needles or tweezers, there are some alternatives to remove the glass out of your foot at home, including:
You can remove the tiny shards out of your skin with baking soda. Baking soda can increase osmotic pressure, causing the skin to drive the splinter to the outer surface.
After wound cleaning, mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with water, then apply this paste to and around the splinter. Then, cover the skin with a bandage for 24 hours. When you pull out the band-aid, the glass should come out.
This method is applicable for kids since kids are often scared of tweezers. Press a piece of duct tape over the skin area containing the glass, and wait for 30 minutes. After that, gently peel back the tape in the opposite direction that the glass entered the skin.
Sprinkle Epsom salts onto the sticky side of a bandage, then place it on the wound. Leave it there for 7 – 8 hours, then remove it.
When you pull off the bandage, the glass will come out. If not, it will rise up to the surface, then you can grab it out by using a tweezer.
If you don’t want to use tweezers, repeat the process using a new band-aid.
White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are acids and can shrink the skin around the splinter. Soak your foot in vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes. If it doesn’t work, soak it in warm water before bringing it back into the vinegar liquid.
Banana peel/potato skins
Banana peels and potato skins can be used to remove splinters. Place the skin of it against the splinter, then cover it with a bandage and leave it for a few hours. After that, remove the peel/skin and use tweezers to pull the splinter out.
You can dilute essential oils, like lavender oil or tea tree oil, with a carrier oil and soak the affected skin area in this liquid for a few minutes. Then, use sterilized tweezers to remove the splinter.
When Do You Have To See A Doctor?
Notice the signs
In most cases, you can remove the glass from your foot at home. But if the glass is too deep into your skin, you might need to see a medical professional. Otherwise, the wound would be more serious.
You should see a doctor if noticing the following signs:
- The splinters are large and break off under your skin
- Splinters are deeply covered by your skin
- Splinters make you feel extremely painful
- Splinters can’t be removed without hurting you (like fishhooks)
- A splinter near a vein or causes nonstop bleeding
- A splinter that stays underneath a toenail
- A piece of glass that is difficult to be removed at once
- You suffer from an infection (redness, warmth, flushing, fever, oozing pus, and chills)
- You haven’t had a booster for tetanus for more than 5 years
You should also see a doctor if you are one of the following people:
- You are more sensitive to infections, like a kid or an elderly
- You have a medical history of diabetes, lowered immunity, or diseased blood vessels
What will the doctor do?
If the splinter is deeply embedded in your foot, the doctor can apply a local anesthetic. If there is an infection, you might need to take prescribed medication to prevent it from getting worse. And if you haven’t been vaccinated for tetanus for over 5 years, you might also receive a tetanus booster shot.
In case you have to see a doctor, remember to cover the wound with a clean bandage or dry cloth. This will keep the wound stays clean on the go.
1. Can the glass splinter come out without help?
You can get small pieces of glass located near the skin surface without pain. Moreover, the skin might form a small pus-filled pimple to cover the glass splinter. When the pimple bursts, the foreign object will be pulled out with the pus.
2. Is it safe not to remove a sprinter out of your foot?
If the splinter is super small and located near the skin surface, you can leave it with no worries. When the skin shreds, the splinter will come out. But if the splinter is big, causes pain, or the area around it has an infection, you should find ways to remove it as soon as possible.
Now, you can confidently remove a glass splinter in your foot using this detailed guideline. The best way to make glass come out of foot depends on some criteria, including the splinter’s size and depth, the affected area, and the infection status.
Always wash your hands thoroughly and sterilize all the tools before glass removal. And contact your healthcare provider immediately if you cannot access the splinter or if the infection status gets worse.