Dotty Hermit Tip – How To Get A Skelf Out Of Your Finger When It’s In Too Deep For Tweezers

 

I had a skelf this morning on the inside of my right index finger. How the fuck did it get there? I don’t know. I don’t know WHEN it got there either, I only noticed it because I felt a sting and when I looked it was going red but inside the red was the bit of brown and I thought that’s a skelf, Dotty, and it’s become infected. That’s the thing about skelfs though, they’re sly little fuckers that worm their way under your skin like my dead husband ex-Simon did when I first met him.

So how do you get them out? Tricky. It can be a long and arduous process, causing stress and anxiety and panic attacks and post-traumatic stress thingy and a crick in your neck if it’s in an awkward place like mine was and you have to twist to see it. Little skelfs can be much worse than big ones – a big thick one usually comes out easily, get a good grip between your fingernails/tweezers and PULL, slowly but firmly, and out it comes. Mine was a little slivver of a skelf, long and thin and liable to snap if I was too rough with it, leaving a bit of wood in my finger that would infect, infect, infect and slowly poison my blood with nasty infecty germs and if I couldn’t get my finger amputated in time it would very swiftly KILL ME.

I’ll take you through what I did to get it out, step by step.

 

TACTICAL SKELF SUCKING

The first thing I did is the first thing everyone does when they spot a skelf in their finger – I sucked it. This is the correct thing to do. There’s a knack to sucking a skelf out, and sometimes, if you do it properly and the skelf isn’t in too deep, it works. What you have to do is NOT suck your finger like you would a lollipop, you have to use TACTICAL SUCKING or you’ve no chance.

1.  CLOSE your mouth and pucker your lips

2.  Clamp your puckered lips round the skelf area, sealing it in whilst leaving as small a gap as possible through which to suck.

3.  Poke the tip of your tongue through the little gap and put some saliva on the skelf area (keeping the area wet is IMPORTANT because it softens the skin making extraction easier and more likely).

4.  Suck. Alternate between hard, rapid little sucks and long, long sucks that use maximum suction and make the blood rush to your head.

5.  Keep checking the skelf area with the tip of your tongue to see if it’s popped out through the skin. If you feel the skelf, stop sucking and have a look, you might be able to pull it out with your teeth or your fingernails or some eyebrow tweezers.

If sucking alone doesn’t work, (it usually doesn’t), move on to the next step.

TAKE NOTE, TACTICAL SUCKING MUST BE EMPLOYED THROUGHOUT THE FOLLOWING, MORE INVASIVE PROCEDURES.

 

FINGERNAILS, TEETH AND TWEEZERS

We don’t need to discuss teeth or tweezers very much, they’re useful for nipping out a skelf if the end is showing, or if it’s thick, but the most important tool of the three is your fingernails because they’re not only used for extraction, they’re used for SQUEEZING and MANIPULATION OF THE SKELF. Be careful though, most people drive the skelf in deeper when they use their fingernails, they don’t have the fine motor skills required and would be better off using the next method —

 

 

THE SAFETY PIN METHOD

The safety pin method is, unarguably, the most successful way of getting a skelf out, particularly if the skelf has been there for a couple of days and the skin has grown back over it. Take your safety pin, open it, bend it back so the big side becomes a little handle. Wipe the pointy tip with an antibacterial wipe or squirt a drop of antibacterial handwash on it and give it a wash before you stick it in your finger.

What you’re aiming to do with the safety pin is make a hole in the skin big enough for the top of the skelf to be exposed with enough of it showing for you to get a grip and pull it out. To do this, dig carefully at your skin with the safety pin, lifting one thin layer of skin at a time or it’ll hurt, (KEEP SUCKING AT REGULAR INTERVALS) and layer by layer the skin will move back and make a little hole. Don’t use your teeth for pulling the skelf out or it might snap, fingernails are best because of the precise control they allow; failing that, use tweezers.

If the skelf is thin and long and deep, like mine was, you’ll have to dig a little tunnel in your skin instead of merely digging a hole because the skelf has no chance of coming out without snapping and leaving a bit inside your finger so it’ll have to be lifted out with the safety pin. Open your skin using the method laid out in the above paragraph, folding the skin back as you go. Remember to use TACTICAL SKELF SUCKING to keep the area soft and free of blood. After a while, the whole skelf should be exposed and you can gently lift it out with the safety pin, or suck gently and see if comes out that way. When it’s out, fold the skin back over the wound and it’ll all knit back together in no time.

 

A LEECH

Do leeches suck skelfs out? I don’t know, I’ve never owned a leech. I’ll have to ring the pet shop and get some, they’d have saved me a load of pissing about this morning if I could’ve just took a little leech out of its tank or its cage or whatever they live in, stuck it on my skelf and hey presto, no skelf. 

 

STANLEY KNIFE

Some men like to use a Stanley knife to get their skelves out. They slice the skin in the place where they think the skelf is lying and sometimes they get it right and the skelf floats out on the blood, but mostly they miss (no surprise there when they can’t even aim into a toilet bowl) and end up trying again and again and then they have to sit in casualty for hours waiting for stitches. No, unless you’re skilled with the Stanley knife (like me) DO NOT USE IT ON YOUR SKELF.

I used it, after the other methods didn’t work. One neat slice, a few squeezes, a lot of blood, and BOSH, got the fucker. No more skelf.

AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO USE A CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE!

 

 

N.B. The success of one of my other Hermit Tips – 

How To Get An Eyelash Out Of Your Eye When There’s No One Around To Get It Out For You

has been astonishing – it has loads of views because someone searches for it at least once a day – is it you, you stalker of MY CREEPY & FREAKY BUT TRUE search terms page? Which reminds me, I haven’t updated it for ages, I’ll have to do it this week.

 

 

Have a nice weekend, everybody.

 

 

Leave a comment

53 Comments

  1. So much can be said about Tactical sucking….

    Reply
  2. How do you extract a metaphysical skelf?

    Reply
    • Dear Misfit,

      With a metaphysical safety pin.

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
      • Where do you get one?

      • Dear Misfit,

        Lidl?

        Love Dotty xxx

      • No, they gave the splinter to begin with.

      • Dear Misfit,

        How?

        Love Dotty xxx

      • By the mere fact of their existence. They are a symptom of economic divisions, where a writer has to shop because there is a “market value” ascribed to a quantity of words, no matter their quality. They are the value market for my market value and I can see only a future in which I have to shop from their bargain shelf.

      • Dear Misfit,

        If you’re not rooting through their bins after closing time you’re financially sound.

        Love Dotty xxx

      • I’ll quote you on that…and that’s not far off.

      • Dear Misfit,

        Freeganism is fashionable for the poor middle classes right now but it’s different if you’re working class and hungry, you’re not being a freegan if you skip dive for food, you’re a THIEVING TRAMP. So says me when I write my daily letters to the Daily Mail.

        Love Dotty xxx

      • I’d prefer to be a thieving tramp than a freegan. Isms isn’t for me. No matter how ironic, the irony is aimed at those who rarely have a sense of irony. Besides, if you’re a tramp they sort of expect it when you piss against the tyres of their big car. It’s fun to watch them rush their over-protected offspring off in the other direction while you fart rotten cabbage scrounged from the Earl of Sainsbury’s big bin of waste. Pity whisky doesn’t have an expiry date.

      • Dear Misfit,

        Me too – I am a tramp, just not a thieving one (yet).

        Love Dotty xxx

      • I’m almost a tramp, but haven’t stolen a thing yet…OK, maybe the occasional glass of something meliorating.

      • Dear Misfit,

        I once stole some bread and other stuff I can’t remember from Kwiksave – I went to pay for it all at the cigarette kiosk, put everything on the counter, asked for my ciggies and when I got out I thought ‘hang on, I’ve got too much change’ and then I realised he’d charged me for the fags but not the shopping even though it was right there in front of him! Did I go back and pay? No.

        Love Dotty xxx

  3. What is a skelf? It must be Scandinavian for splinter… or sausage…
    And is that Chris guy making inappropriate advances, because we could send the U.S. Navy Seals over and give him a good talking too.

    Reply
    • Dear pmao,

      It’s a splinter.

      No he’s not making advances. If he was making advances it wouldn’t help to send the US Navy Seals over here – he’s over THERE. :-)

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
  4. Dorothy

     /  May 26, 2012

    Dear Dotty,
    Yes, tactical sucking…can’t say I’ve used that on a splinter before. I was taught the method of a flame to a sewing needle then ripping open the skin to surgically remove the thing. Just reading your description brought back traumatic memories from childhood of my mother doing that. I heard that a slice of bread left on the thing draws it out but I’ve never tried it. I guess I’m a masochist…thanks Ma!
    Love Dorothy

    Reply
    • Dear Dorothy,

      Aaaarrggghhh – you’ve just brought back a traumatic memory of when I was at school playing hockey and some bitch whacked me with her stick and I got a massive blood blister under my thumb nail – at the hospital they heated up a piece of thick metal wire by putting it under a flame and then STUCK IT IN MY THUMB and blood skooshed out in a big fountain and I had to keep pressing it to get more out and then I fainted in the chair.

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
  5. Dear Dotty, good advice. I’m a bit of a home surgeon myself. :) Love that you Brit’s call it a skelf and not a splinter.

    Reply
    • Dear twtg,

      Home surgery is the only option when you’re a She-hermit. I’m still saving up to buy my own x-ray machine.

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
  6. Human In Recovery

     /  May 26, 2012

    The safety pin tends to be my splinter solution. Thanks for educating me on the other methods and that skelf=splinter.

    Reply
  7. So I was right…basically, everyone sucks.

    Reply
  8. Dear Dotty,

    Thank you for this guide. Now I can remove this splinter that I got back in 1996. Provided that your method works on Americans. Does it?

    Love,
    Kathy

    PS: I finally got around to doing a search terms page. And then I immediately had an exciting new one — “lobotomy in toddlers”. So I already need to update.

    Reply
  9. Dear Dotty,

    Brilliant directions — I stuck a skelf in my finger just to see if they would work. They did, but not before my finger was turning funny colors. I think I’ll be okay with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Oh, and no leeches — if you ever had one on you that you didn’t plan to have, it freaks you out, or it did me!

    Love,

    Judith of the Nine-Fingers 8-)

    Reply
    • Dear Judith of the Nine-Fingers,

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

      You’re all making me laugh today.

      Which finger did you stick the skelf in?

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
  10. Sweet Jesus, I’ve never had a splinter/skelf that bad. Sounds like you could have used some holy water to get rid of that thing. Glad it’s gone. Now go have a nice Cumberland sausage sandwich—you need meat to help you replenish all the blood you lost.

    xoxo Mme Weebles

    Reply
  11. bpshielsy

     /  May 26, 2012

    Hahaha you crack me up!!

    Reply
  12. Dear Dotty,
    I have never had a splinter that bad. But thank you for the refresher in tactical sucking…I think it may come in handy if I ever get bit by a venomous snake.
    Love,
    -the howler and me

    Reply
  13. I always knew you were a sucker….. lol

    Reply
  14. LOL Dotty, you’re fucking brilliant. BTW, I thought i’d heard some weird words over here in the US, but despite being English, I’d honestly never heard the word “skelf” until I read this. I figured you meant a splinter though :)

    I’m curious though… What would you do if you somehow got a skelf in your cumberland sausage?

    Reply
    • Dear tlsih,

      Well it might happen – with the weather being nice I’ve started making my Cumberland sausage ice lollies again but the wooden lolly sticks are a bit cheap…

      Love Dotty xxx

      Reply
  15. Never heard a splinter called a “skelf” before. Did you make it up, or do people really say that?

    I usually operate. As I haven’t a medical degree, I’m the only person that I’m allowed to operate on. On whom I’m allowed to operate. Sorry about the Queen’s English (she is, isn’t she?). In fact, I’m not even sure that I’m allowed to operate on myself, but I’d like to see them try to stop me!

    Keep away from doctors. I do. They love taking prisoners and locking them up in places that they call “hospitals”. The food’s terrible and people keep torturing you. They won’t let you sleep because sleeping cures people much faster and that lowers the amount of money they can charge you. Everyone loses weight in hospitals. Too hot, bad food, not much of it, lack of sleep, stress… Then, if they can cut you open, they will. Even when you don’t need it. They make mistakes during surgical operations, then write prescriptions for things to which you are allergic (which are written in big, red letters on your dossier, but no-one bothers to look at it, even when it hasn’t been lost). Then, when you ask your surgeon if he completed one of the things he said that he was going to do, and that he hasn’t yet mentioned, he gasps and says, “Oh! I forgot to do that!”. Which then entails another trip to the operating table…

    Doctors and hospitals. Keep away from them. It’s not worth it.

    Reply

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