They are foreign bodies that either fully or partially embed themselves into the skin.
Our clinic can remove most splinters including those that are deeply embedded or under a finger or toenail. They are usually full of germs and may cause an infection.
If a splinter (usually of wood, glass, or metal) is not completely removed, it may cause infection, inflammation, or a toxicity response. Even once the main, visible piece of the splinter has been removed, small pieces may still remain under the skin.
It is best to get a painful splinter dealt with as soon as possible, to avoid invasive removal procedures. A fresh splinter usually has an open injury track through which it can be easily removed. The longer the splinter is present, the more likely the skin will attempt to heal over it, making removal more difficult. If the splinter is small and not painful, it may work itself out on its own.
Clean the area of the splinter with soap and water. Be sure to use clean, sterilised tweezers (use soap and water and alcohol). If you are unable to remove the entire visible splinter, be sure to see a doctor for proper removal.