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Removing thistle thorns and slivers....

 
pollinator
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Made the mistake today of pulling lots of dried plant material from last year's garden in preparation for the new planting.....without using gloves!  Now I'm paying the price with scores of slivers and thorns making their presence known across my hands.  What are your favorite ways to alleviate the discomfort of the embedded rascal(s) and getting them to come to the surface for removal?  Maybe I missed the discussion but did not see one on a quick search of the forum.  Thanks!.
 
gardener
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Some people find that rubbing a thin cream or veggie oil on your hands thoroughly encourages them to slide out more easily. It's helped me for some slivers, but not all.
Too late for tonight, but the Lee Valley Tools sliver pullers work pretty well, but if the thorns are really tiny, it usually requires a needle instead.
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/home/personal-care/tweezers/10434-sliver-gripper-tweezers
We use the tweezers with Hubby's head mounted magnifier, so you can really see the little buggers.

 
gardener
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When I can't see them, or get a hold of them, I use a black drawing salve. I make my own, with activated charcoal, bentonite, beeswax, and olive oil or tallow, mixed to a consistency of tar. A bit of lavender essential oil will usually help with the discomfort. In your case, I'd put it on my hands, then put oh nitrile gloves, to avoid staining everything, and leave it on for an hour or three. The advantage this has, even though it IS messy, is that it also draws out any infection, dirt, bacteria, or poisons, at the same time.
 
pollinator
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I always have a few needles around.
The big ones you use for intramuscular injections on animals.
They are very sharp, you can also cut and scoop with them.
I use new needles on myself, I just ask the vet if I can have a couple extra occasionally.
IMG20200425203247.jpg
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John Weiland
pollinator
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Thanks for these tips.  Some of them I've been able to extract with a needle this morning.  Others, I'm trying the salve method with a band-aid to keep them moist and reduce possibility of infection.  Hopefully I'll be a bit smarter today and wear gloves!.. ;-)  
 
pollinator
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With the really stubborn ones, that are flush with the surface so there's nothing to grab hold of, I use superglue.

Spread a small drop of glue where the splinter is, and top it with a small bit of tissue or something, just to give it some body. Let the glue set, then peel it off. Yes, it will take the outermost layer of skin with it, but that layer is mostly dead cells waiting to slough off anyway. And I find getting the splinter out to be worth the price, especially when it's in my fingers!
 
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Salve made from the common weed plantain (Plantago major or P. lanceolata) is my go to for splinters. It has worked wonders on them and just about any other skin irritation or infection. For really stubborn splinters, sometimes I use a salve made with pine resin.
 
pollinator
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I find the most effective solution is the simplest: scrape your hand lightly with a very sharp blade at a 90 degree angle. That pulls out 90% of the crud.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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If that doesn't work, the standard tweezers on a Victorinox swiss army knife are absolutely the best.
 
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