Hair splinters (also known as pili cuniculati, creeping hair, migrating hair, or bristle migrans) are sharp little slivers that can pierce the skin and cause pain. They are most common in the feet, but can also occur in the hands and fingers. Handling hair, walking barefoot or wearing socks in areas with a lot of hair on the ground, and even working around a salon can lead to these painful little splinters.
When a hair splinter occurs, it is important to treat the area right away. This is because splinters can burrow deeper into the skin, and in rare cases, they can become infected. The first step is to clean the area and sterilize the splinter-removal tools. If possible, try to find the direction the splinter entered the skin. This will make it easier to remove.
Once the splinter is on the surface, use tweezers to remove it. Be careful not to pinch the skin, as this can break the splinter into smaller pieces, making it harder to get out.
Another option is to cover the splinter with tape. This will usually work for slivers that are not too deep below the surface of the skin, but it will only be effective if the tape is allowed to dry completely.
For stubborn splinters, soaking the affected area in vinegar may help to break down the object. Once the splinter is removed, be sure to wash the area with soap and water, apply petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment, and put a bandage on to prevent infection.