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Skin Care and Diseases

Glass in heel

07/21/2006

Question:

Yesterday,after walking around most of the day barefoot, I began to notice a pain in my heel that feels exactly like a previous time years ago when I realized immediately that I had stepped on a sliver of glass. That previous time, even though initially my husband had been able to see the glass a bit protruding, it took much digging around with a needle and tweezers over several days before we finally got it out. This time I can locate the spot acurately but there is nothing at all protruding. Do you have any self-help method tips for me?

Answer:

First aid is difficult for glass since it easily breaks when touched by tweezers, needles, etc.  You would be best advised to see your family or emergency department physician.  They have the equipment and know how to easily remove it.  In other foreign bodies such as fiberglass spicules stripping the area with glass, that is putting an adhesive over it and then simply lifting it, taking off a few skin cells and often lifting the material itself.  I would suggest that you do not use super glue since it combines so severely, causing large quantities of skin come away.  Try using scotch tape, paper tape or even adhesive tape to strip the area 5 or 6 times.  If that does not get the spicule out, you really need to see your physician.  Don't damage your surrounding skin by "stripping" it multiple times.

 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati