Very small piece of glass

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Mikkel, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2012
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    Is it ok to leave a very small piece of a glass splint in my foot? I have tried to remove it but it cannot be seen only felt. Can I just leave it?
  2. Backfixer Barefooters

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    Oct 28, 2012
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    I wouldn't. It could lodge further into the tissues and damage them as well as being a source of infection. Remove it asap

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  3. Longboard Chapter Presidents
    1. Michigan
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
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    Before digging re-evaluate to see if you really have a piece of glass or not.
    Many times barefooters will have a sensation that there is a piece of glass, but really it is just a temporary nerve stimulation that eventually goes away.
    Every time in my early days of urban barefooting that I thought I had a tiny invisible piece I dug and dug but never found a thing. After healing of the iatrogenic wound I was fine.
    Many SBL members found the same thing, a "phantom" shard of glass that wasn't really there.
    But Doc WDC is correct, if there IS indeed a piece it may cause problems (or it may not and just remain where it is problem free)
    Do you feel the pain/discomfort with every single step? Is it always the same intensity?
    I've found over the years that when you have a piece you REALLY know it without doubt, where with the phantom shard occasionaly it is a weaker sensation.
    Also, when I push on the spot with my hand I feel nothing, but with the true shard I feel intense pain even to the light touch.
    Good luck and keep us informed with of the outcome.

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  4. BFwillie_g Barefooters
    1. Deutschland-Ger...
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    Great information Board!

    Based on one really bad experience with a raspberry thorn, I would also be careful to remove anything that gets stuck in my foot. Luckily, that was three years ago and I haven't had an incident since. Knock on wood

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  5. SillyC Barefooters

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    What really helps me remove small glass shards is to fill the tub with warm, soapy water, and soak my foot in it. This will soften the skin. I then use nail clippers to "cut away" at the thick area around where the shard might be. Soak a bit more. After that, I shove some forceps in there and poke around. You'll know if there's glass, because the forceps will "chink" when you hit it.

    Oh, I also always soak all my tools in isopropanol before going at it.

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  6. Sid Barefooters

    Member Since:
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    Sometimes I don't notice the glass until later in the day, when my foot is throbbing. Personally, I like these tweezers as I've found them thin and delicate enough to retrieve any shards without causing further damage to my foot. I can often probe around a bit and feel through the tweezers if there is a piece of glass. If you can't tell, and it still hurts, then get it checked out.
  7. happysongbird Chapter Presidents
    1. Idaho
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    I had a teeny clear pebble stuck in my foot not too long ago. It popped out a day or so later during a hot bath when I was trying to look at it again.

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  8. barefootn Barefooters
    1. Massachusetts
    2. New York

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    I'm not sure if this works, but it might be worth trying.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-a-Splinter-with-Baking-Soda
    I once asked my GP where one should go to have a splinter removed from his foot.
    It didn't seem to warrant bothering the doctor for a splinter. He said not to hesitate, he would be glad to see me.

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  9. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2012
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    There is definately something in my foot as I can feel it when using a needle trying to get it out. I went to see my doctor yesterday and she said "just let it be. Often there will be a small infection and then it will come out eventually". I also tried a not-working suggestion I read, to put a piece of onion on the spot with a bandaid over and leave it till next morning. Didn't work. Guess ill just leave it untill it gets worse or away. By the way this was the third time in three runs that I caught splinters with my feet!
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  10. BFwillie_g Barefooters
    1. Deutschland-Ger...
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    Did she mention that it could take up to a month for this to happen and that it could get extremely painful after a while?

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  11. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    :confused: No she didn't (wonder why?)
  12. Jonathan Wilkinson Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

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    I've had a tiny piece of glass in my foot on 2 occassions and didn't notice for a day or 2. In the end I cut the skin to widen the wound then used tweezers to remove the shard, this was after soaking as well. Take care to only cut the skin though it will be pretty thick on the sole of your feet so there will be very little bleeding.
  13. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    Feb 2, 2012
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    I guess if it gets worse I will have to take another look at it and opening the wound some more to get it out.
  14. jjhenry Barefooters
    1. California -...

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    Dec 3, 2012
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    I got my first piece of glass today. I ran on it for a bit not quite realizing what it was. and then had to stop and work at it with my fingernails for 5 minutes to get it out. It was about 2mm x 1mm. I was thinking about carrying tweezers from now on, but I realized it was the first puncture in 18 months of barefooting, (other than the bee sting, but that was my own fault for running in the grass) and it will be rarity to need them. I'm hoping anyway.
  15. Jonathan Wilkinson Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

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    I have managed to find a small pair of tweezers that I carry every time I go for a run, about 4cm in length, very handy ;)
  16. Ronnie B Barefooters

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    Feb 2, 2012
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    In 3 years of running BF I have had one piece of glass embedded in my foot. I too felt the scraping sensation when probing with a small (sterilised!) knife. I put hydrogen peroxide on it which seemed to help draw it out.
  17. Zetti Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    cant remember where I saw this, but it was on some Barefoot forum/blog and the author had decent success...I would give it a try.
    If I recall correctly after using this overnight the piece of glass was removed (don't tweezers were even needed)

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  18. kozz Barefooters

    Member Since:
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    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0901/p683.html

    "Glass is inert and can be left in place if it is difficult to locate or remove."

    But keep your tetanus shots up to date.

    I had embedded glass that I couldn't get rid of about a year ago. It hurt like hell for about two weeks and then stopped. Maybe it's still there, maybe not, but it hasn't been a big deal.
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