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Soft Tissue Foreign Body


A soft tissue foreign body is an object that is stuck in the soft tissue under your skin. Some examples include wood splinters, slivers of metal or glass, and gravel.


Elevate your injured area:

Raise the injured area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop the injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Care for your wound as directed:

Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe the area, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Decrease your risk for a scar:

Rub lotion or ointment on your skin after it heals. Apply sunscreen to your healed wound if you are out in the sun. The area may turn a different color if it is exposed to sunlight. Do this for at least 1 year after your injury.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • You have pain that does not go away or gets worse.
  • The skin around your wound feels numb.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You see red streaks on your skin coming from your wound.
  • You have bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes of holding firm, direct pressure over the wound.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.