Health Hazards of Wooden Splinters
Apart from thorns, wooden splinter injuries of the extremities are the most widespread cause of admissions to emergency departments. It is hardly surprising, given the fact that wood presents a natural habitat for bacteria and facilitates their entry into the body. Once the bacteria enter your bloodstream, it multiplies rapidly. At this stage, your immune system springs into action – it detects any foreign bodies (bacteria) and sends white blood cells to kill them. The potential infection is destroyed, inhibiting the spread of infection across the body. However, the outcome is not the same every time. Sometimes the infection remains in the body, growing in severity and worsening the condition.
Consequences of Delay in Splinter Removal
Your immune system does its best to isolate and contain the disease caused by any foreign element. However, if the splinter remains embedded for too long, the area swells up and collects pus, which is painful. This pus-filled growth is commonly known as an abscess, and you will require a doctor to drain the pus. Only then can the infected region start the healing process, and the splinter be removed from your foot. Doctors often prescribe a course of oral antibiotics to treat the infection. Under certain conditions, the splinter may become encysted. It gets coated with a layer of scar tissue and remains inside your feet as a small, firm nodule. Or, it works its way towards the surface of your skin, eventually popping up as a callus. Calluses resemble a dry, tough blister, and they open up to reveal the splinter underneath.
Take Preventive Action
Act quickly whenever you have a splinter lodged in your foot. Don’t ignore it thinking it’s just a tiny sliver of wood. The size of the particle does not matter; what matters is taking it out before infection can set in. If you do not take immediate action and allow it to get lodged deep in your tissues, it will cause tremendous pain, irritation, swelling and redness of the skin. So don’t wait for the condition to worsen. See a specialist as soon as you realize that some sharp objects have penetrated your skin.
Splinters are not nearly as harmless as they seem. Early removal is the best course of action; otherwise, the wound will continue to fester and give rise to severe health complications. If a fragment of wood, glass or metal lodges itself in your foot, don’t delay in seeking medical help. The city of Tampa has many walk-in clinics where you can get your splinter removed quickly. Doctors will remove the whole splinter from your foot, and so, there will be no risk of infection whatsoever.