One of the most common mishaps that can happen when gardening or doing housework is getting a thorn or a splinter under your skin. You should undertake this kind of work wearing the right gloves and clothes, being careful, and following some directions.


Tips from Dr. Luciana Marzella, Hand Surgery Specialist at Humanitas

First of all, you should wash the injured area with tap water and then disinfect it. If the thorn or splinter is visible because it sticks out of the skin, you can try to extract it with disinfected eyebrow tweezers. If the thorn is deeper, you should pour some lukewarm water into a basin and add to it some Purell or a similar sodium hypochlorite-based product. By immersing the injured area into the water, you favor the softening of the skin and possibly the spontaneous extraction of the thorn.


The risk of infection

If you don’t extract it, the thorn may cause an infection. This condition manifests itself with pain, and the affected area looks swollen, red and hot. Pus leakages may also occur.

If the thorn has gone deeper, in time it may create a foreign body-determined granuloma: it is a sort of hard, painful little ball under your skin, that may be removed with a simple surgery.

The most serious but rare consequence is tetanus, that may happen if you were not re-vaccinated.