A hair splinter or hair sliver occurs if a hair strand pierces via the upper skin layer. Most consider it as a minor injury, but it can be quite painful, especially if infection develops.
It appears like other types of splinters caused by other material. In some instances, only a segment of the fiber is embedded under the skin while the rest is exposed.
What is the cause?
A hair splinter typically involves a freshly trimmed hair which is often sharp. As a result, it is easier for recently cut hair to pierce through the skin. Remember that this is true if the hair is coarse, short or thick.
Since a hair splinter can form in any part of the body, it usually affects the fingers and feet. Aside from dealing directly with hair, moving barefoot or even with socks in a barbershop or areas with large amounts of hair on the floor can result to a splinter.
Hair splinter removal
Getting rid of a hair splinter is done in the same way as with any form of splinter.
- Thoroughly wash hands and the site of the splinter with soap and warm water.
- With a magnifying glass, use it to take a close look at the splinter. Check if it is positioned in a horizontal or vertical manner. If achievable, pinpoint its site of entry.
- If the hair splinter is near the skin surface, try placing a piece of duct tape on the site and gently pull it off. This might be enough to get rid of the splinter.
- In case the splinter is deeply embedded, sterilize the needle and tweezers using rubbing alcohol.
- With the needle, use it to gently pierce the skin by following the course of the hair. Open the skin to expose enough of the hair to be grabbed by the tweezers.
- Remove the hair using the sterilized tweezers
- Carefully rinse the site with warm water and dry the area
- Dab on an antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage
Even though a hair splinter is uncommon, those who handle a lot of hair might end up with one. If one occurs, it must be removed right away to lower the risk for infection.