A Guide to First Aid Courses in Newcastle

Designed to remove splinters in one quick motion, today’s blog will be about splinter probes, stay tuned to find out more!

Can the use of splinter probes be easier?

Short Answer: This will depend on the user’s level of expertise, and being able to use the correct technique.

  • It saves you from hassle of having to soak your hand in warm water
  • Don’t rush when using it, as this could lead to mistakes
  • There are different types of splinter probes, each designed for specific applications
  • Choose the right probe that’s appropriate

Can I use a splinter probe without a magnifier?

This will depend on the size of the splinter and your eyesight. If the splinter is very small and difficult to see with the naked eye, using a magnifier will locate it faster and ensure that it’s properly removed.

While it is possible to use a splinter probe without a magnifier, it may be more challenging to see:

  • The smaller details 
  • The exact spot you need to treat 
  • Any debris

However, if you have experience and a steady hand, it may be possible to use a splinter probe without a magnifier for certain applications.

Using a larger splinter probe for a large area might help with positioning it accurately without a magnifier.

On the other hand, using a magnifier can be very helpful to ensure that you are positioning the probe correctly, and avoiding damage to surrounding tissues.

A magnifier can also help you see any debris or other foreign objects that may be present in the area you are working on.

It’s always a good idea to use caution and be gentle when removing a splinter to avoid causing additional pain or injury.

What other instruments will I need alongside a probe?

Alongside a splinter probe, you may need some other instruments to properly remove a splinter, depending on the size and the depth of the splinter.

Here are some common instruments that may be useful:

  • Antiseptic - After removing the splinter, it’s important to clean the area with an antiseptic to help prevent infection.
  • Needle - A sterile needle can be used to help remove the splinter if it is deeply embedded in the skin. Don’t forget to sterilize the needle first by holding it over a flame or rubbing alcohol.
  • Tweezers - A pair of fine-tipped tweezers can be helpful for gripping and removing the splinter once it has been dislodged.
  • Bandage - Once the splinter has been removed and the area has been cleaned, you may need to cover it with a bandage to protect it from further irritation or infection.

Remember to use caution when removing the splinter, because if there is difficulty when treating it or pain is experienced - it’s advisable to seek medical attention.

How to minimize pain during the use of a probe?

Using a splinter probe can be uncomfortable or even painful, especially if the splinter is deep or in a sensitive area.

If you need to use a probe when when using a splinter probe, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the pain:

  • Be gentle - While using the splinter probe, be gentle and take your time. Try not to push too hard or dig too deeply, as this can cause additional pain and may even push the splinter deeper into the skin.
  • Numb the area - You can start off by applying a numbing cream or spray to the area around the splinter. This will help reduce any pain or discomfort when using the splinter probe.
  • Clean the area - Before using the splinter probe, make sure the area is clean and free of dirt and debris. Use soap and water to clean the area, then dry it thoroughly.
  • Soak the area - Soaking the affected area in warm water for a few minutes can help to soften the skin and make it easier to remove the splinter. Adding epsom salt to the water can help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Take a break - If you are feeling a lot of pain or discomfort, take breaks during the process. You can pause and try again later when you are ready to resume the process.

How can I prevent inflammation due to the use of a probe?

Inflammation is a common response to injury, and it can occur when using a splinter probe to remove a splinter. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of inflammation:

  • Apply a cold compress - Applying a cold compress, such as an ice pack can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Apply the compress for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Use a topical anti-inflammatory - Apply a topical anti-inflammatory cream or ointment such as hydrocortisone to the area after removing the splinter.
  • Sterilize the probe - To prevent infection and inflammation, sterilize the probe by wiping it with rubbing alcohol or boiling it in water for a few minutes.
  • Keep the area clean and dry - After removing the splinter, keep the area clean and dry to prevent further inflammation.

If the area becomes red, swollen or painful, or a fever is developing it’s best to seek medical attention.

You can purchase a pack of five splinter probes directly from our Survival website here.

Related Questions

What happens if the splinter breaks while using a probe?

If a splinter breaks while using a probe, it’s possible that the remaining piece of the splinter may be left inside the skin. This can cause pain, inflammation and possibly lead to infection.

It will also depend on whether the splinter is small and not deep, as the body’s natural defense may be able to expel it over time. But if the splinter is large and deep, it may require medical attention to remove it.

In some cases, a doctor or a healthcare provider may need to use specialized tools to remove the remaining piece of the splinter. This is why it’s extremely important to avoid breaking the splinter when attempting to remove it with a probe. A magnifying glass is exactly what you would need to clearly see the splinter and ensure the probe is positioned correctly before trying to remove it.

What are disposable splinter probes?

Disposable splinter probes are small, single-use tools designed to help remove splinters from the skin. They are typically made of plastic or metal and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different types of splinters and skin areas.

They often have a pointed end or a tiny hook that can be used to gently lift the splinter out of the skin. They are designed to be used once and then discarded, which can help prevent the risk of infection or the spread of bacteria.

Most of the disposable probes come in sterile packaging to ensure they are clean and safe to use. They are often found in first aid kits or sold separately in pharmacies and medical supply stores.


Splinter probes can be useful for removing splinters from the skin. It is best to avoid getting splinters in the first place by wearing appropriate protective clothing, when working with sharp objects or in areas where splinters are likely to occur.


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