foreign bodies in the skin


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foreign bodies in the skin

Objects that enter the skin accidentally or are inserted deliberately. The areas involved are cleaned carefully. Foreign material can be removed carefully piece by piece or by vigorous swabbing with gauze or a brush and a soapy solution. A sterile dressing should be used.

For removal of a small foreign body, the area is cleaned first with mild soap and warm water. A clean needle can be sterilized by heating it to a dull or bright red in a flame; this can be done with a single match. Because both ends of the needle get hot, it is wise to hold the far end in a nonconductor such as a fold of paper or a cork. The needle is allowed to cool. A black deposit on its surface should be disregarded; it is sterile carbon and does not interfere with the procedure. The needle is introduced at right angles to the direction of the sliver, and the sliver is lifted out. Most people attempt to stick the needle in the direction of the foreign body and consequently thrust many times before they manage to lift the sliver out. When the sliver is removed, an antiseptic is applied and the wound covered with a sterile dressing. Tetanus antitoxin or a tetanus booster may be required, depending on the history of immunization.

See also: skin