Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Object Stuck in the Skin Home Care

Home care for a skin foreign body includes:

  • Apply direct pressure to control bleeding:
    • Use a gauze or clean cloth directly on the wound.
    • Maintain constant pressure for at least 10 minutes.
    • Do not interrupt the pressure, in order to look at the wound.
  • Clean the wound:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the wound.
    • Remove dirt or foreign material from the wound.
    • Running water can help remove dirt.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
    • Wounds to the face may be left uncovered.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Small splinters and foreign bodies may be removed with tweezers.
    • Seek care if part of the splinter remains in the skin.
  • Seek medical care for skin foreign bodies that cannot be removed easily.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:

Tetanus Considerations
A tetanus shot is necessary right away if you have not had three tetanus shots in the past.

If you have received three tetanus shots in the past, you need a tetanus shot within three days for a dirty wound.

Object Stuck in the Skin Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with a skin foreign body include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Object Stuck in the Skin Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with a skin foreign body include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Object Stuck in the Skin Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a possible skin foreign body and any of the following:

Continue to Object Stuck in the Skin Outlook

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Object Stuck in the Skin References
  1. Nassif JM, Gorczyca JT, Vanarthos WJ. Unrecognized foreign body in the hip joint. J Orthop Trauma. 1996;10(3):216-9. [8667116]
  2. O'Dell ML. Skin and wound infections: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 1998 May 15;57(10):2424-32. [9614412]
  3. Vincent A, Jenkins DW. Retained digital foreign body after a pellet gun injury. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2000 Feb;90(2):103-6. [10697978]
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