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Old 05-28-2002, 08:40 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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Splinters will eventually "work themselves out"?

I've got a bad splinter that unfortunately I cannot pull out myself, b/c it happens to be in my pinky, which is broken right now and in a splint.

After soliciting advice from my Mother about this, she said "all foreign objects buried under the skin will eventually work themselves out over time, so just leave it alone." Arguing ensued. She said that as the skin regenerates, the foreign object gets pushed closer to the surface, until it eventually just falls out.

Sounds rather absurd to me, so I was hoping for a Cite that proves/disproves this theory. (Or an informed opinion, like Qadgop's). I can't seem to find anything on Google about this, although I'm pretty slow with the typing right now...

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-28-2002, 08:55 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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I heard there is a limit as to how far down this will work. If it is above a certain point it will work out, below it and it's there for the long haul - your body may encapsulate.
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:02 PM
choosybeggar choosybeggar is offline
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Your Mom is correct about the basics, but I'd offer two caveats to her advice.

Splinters carry bacteria into the skin where they can set up shop. Removing a splinter greatly reduces the risk of infection.

Splinters can lodge in the layer beneath the epidermis (the dermis). If this occurs, the splinter will not "work its way out," because the dermis does not grow outwards like the epidermis. Thats why henna tattoos are temporary (they're confined to the epidermis) while traditional tattoos are permanent (the ink needle deposits pigment in the dermis).
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:10 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
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Yes I think it depends on how deep the foreign object is, and how it's lodged in. Things like fish hooks and porquipine quill won't work themselves out, but I've had a couple shallow wood splinters that I couldn't find come poking to the surface after a few days over my life. Of course beneath the skin I doubt it would ever come out, otherwise no one would be carrying around shrapnel or bullet slugs for the rest of their lives.
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:15 PM
Yeah Yeah is offline
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Dooku's mom and k2dave are correct. You can read about skin structure and growth at the following site: http://www.noah-health.org/english/i...m.html#ANATOMY
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:52 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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Thanks for the link Yeah! Mom will be so pleased that she was right.


(Safety tip: don't climb around on a woodpile wearing wet Birks).
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Old 05-28-2002, 10:12 PM
Mirage Mirage is offline
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My grandmother once sat on a needle which went right into her buttocks and was unreachable. Years later she noticed it poking out the side of her hip and she pulled it out. Just FYI.
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Old 05-28-2002, 10:41 PM
Opus1 Opus1 is offline
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I have two pieces of pencil graphite that have been lodged in my body for years; I doubt they're ever working their way out.
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Old 05-28-2002, 11:15 PM
bbeaty bbeaty is offline
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I've had lots of splinters from carpentry which seemed to dissolve or at least turn to a kind of gel. A friend (a professional woodworker) says that pine seems always to do this, but many other woods don't, particularly walnut. He also doesn't like stainless steel, since steel and iron splinters eventually turn to oxide, but the SS ones keep hurting forever unless you dig them out.
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Old 05-29-2002, 02:11 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is online now
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There was a woman who sat on a PORK BONE and it came out like 20 years later.
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Old 05-29-2002, 02:40 AM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Re: Splinters will eventually "work themselves out"?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dooku
I've got a bad splinter that unfortunately I cannot pull out myself, b/c it happens to be in my pinky, which is broken right now and in a splint.

After soliciting advice from my Mother about this, she said "all foreign objects buried under the skin will eventually work themselves out over time, so just leave it alone." Arguing ensued. She said that as the skin regenerates, the foreign object gets pushed closer to the surface, until it eventually just falls out.

Sounds rather absurd to me, so I was hoping for a Cite that proves/disproves this theory. (Or an informed opinion, like Qadgop's). I can't seem to find anything on Google about this, although I'm pretty slow with the typing right now...

Thanks in advance!
My experience has been that splinters that are not too deep eventually fester and can be popped out easily (I can see the medics shuddering now, even at this distance).

It would seem that foreign objects can travel around inside the body for quite a while without causing any apparent damage.

Take the case of my mother. She developed a persistent sore spot in the throat. She tried all sorts of gargles, various cough medicines, etc. Then one day she was ironing and the sore spot caused her to start coughing quite violently and shortly a common pin flew out of her mouth and fell on the ironing board. Honest - and she kept the pin as a curiosity for quite a while. It was, an maybe still is, common to hold a bunch of pins in your mouth while pinning up a hem or whatever. She must have accidently partly swallowed the thing at least part way down at some time or other, and it finally worked its way out.
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