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.
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.
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 –
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.