One of the most common accidents when practicing gardening or doing work at home is the penetration of a thorn or splinter into the skin. It is preferable to deal with this kind of work by wearing appropriate gloves and clothes and take careful precautions, following certain instructions.

Here are the advice that Dr. Luciana Marzella, Specialist in hand surgery in Humanitas, gave in an interview.

First rinse the affected area with running water and then disinfect. If the thorn or splinter is visible because it partially sticks out of the skin, you can try to remove it by using properly disinfected tweezers. If the thorn is deeper, it is advisable to fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a few drops of a sodium hypochlorite product (such as Amuchina). Soaking the affected area in water will help soften the skin, with the possibility of the thorn/splinter coming out by itself.


The risk of infection

If not removed, the thorn/splinter may cause infection. This condition occurs with pain and the affected area becomes swollen, red and hot. A pus spill may also occur.

If the thorn/splinter goes deeper with time, a foreign body granuloma may form, a kind of hard and painful ball under the skin, which can be removed with a small surgical procedure.

The most serious, but rare, consequence is tetanus, in cases where a vaccine booster has not been performed.