How To Get Pencil Lead Out Of Your Skin

Have you ever wondered how to get pencil lead out of your skin? A lead stuck into your skin can be painful and unpleasant, and could cause an infection if left there, so how do you get rid of it?

Removing a pencil lead from your skin is done in much the same way as removing other splinters. You will need to use sterile tools to grip the lead and pull it out. You may need to soften the skin with warm water first.

How To Get Pencil Lead Out Of Your Skin

If you’ve got a pencil lead stuck in your skin, you will need to get it out as soon as possible, because it will start to irritate your skin and could lead to an infection. It is also likely to be painful while it remains in your skin, like any splinter.

You can get a pencil lead out of your skin by following these steps:

  1. Locate the lead and inspect it.
  2. Sterilize a tool such as tweezers.
  3. Wash the injury area and soak it if necessary.
  4. Grasp the end of the lead with the tweezers and draw it out slowly.
  5. Inspect the site to ensure that all fragments have been removed.
  6. Clean the injury site and apply some antiseptic cream.
  7. Monitor the injury for any signs of infection.

Let’s explore each of these steps in a little more detail so you know how to safely remove a pencil lead from your skin.

1) Locate The Lead

Start by finding the lead and inspecting the injury site. Work out where the lead entered your skin, as you’ll want to remove it in the same place to minimize how much the removal hurts.

Check whether the lead is all in one piece, or whether you will be removing several fragments.

2) Sterilize Your Tools

Next, decide whether you are going to use a needle or a pair of tweezers to remove the lead. A needle will be easier for small fragments, but tweezers will allow you to grip a large fragment and remove it intact.

Use rubbing alcohol or boiling water to sterilize your tools so that you don’t risk introducing dirt and bacteria to the wound. The cleaner your tools are, the better.

3) Wash The Injury

Next, you need to clean the site where the lead has entered, removing all dirt from the area to ensure you don’t accidentally transfer the dirt under your skin when you remove the lead. Use soap and warm water, and thoroughly wash the area.

If the skin is hard, you may wish to soak the area for about half an hour before you try to remove the lead. This will soften the skin and, if the water is warm, may help to push the lead toward the surface. This can help if you have stepped on a lead, as the skin on your feet may be hard.

The longer you soak the site, the easier it should be to remove the pencil lead.

4) Remove The Lead

Next, set up a space with good light so that you can easily see what you are doing, and bring the injury site close to your face. Inspect the lead to see if you can work out which end went in first. You want to pull it out by the end that went in last, as this should be closer to the surface of the skin.

Grip the end with the tweezers, or ease the point of the needle in alongside it. Begin gently drawing it out toward the surface of the skin, preferably through the entry hole if possible. Work slowly so that you don’t break the lead as you pull. If the lead does break, don’t worry for now; keep removing the part that you are working on, and set it aside.

Next, do the same again for the broken fragment until you have managed to remove all the parts. If you are having problems, take some time to soak the skin again. The water will help to wash any fragments out and should pull them to the surface.

5) Inspect The Site

When you’ve finished, get a magnifying glass and inspect the site and make sure that there are no remaining fragments. If there are, return to Step 4 and keep flushing the site with warm water and using your tool to work the fragments out.

Don’t move on until you are sure you’ve got rid of the graphite because any remaining fragments could cause pain and will increase the risk of infection. You must get rid of everything under the skin in order for it to heal properly.

6) Clean The Injury

When you have finished, wash the area thoroughly with warm water and more mild soap to remove any last remaining dirt or bacteria from the skin. You may then wish to add some antiseptic cream, especially if you are prone to infections.

You can cover the area with a band-aid to keep it clean if you are working in a dirty environment, but remember to expose it to air occasionally so it can dry out.

7) Monitor The Site

Finally, keep an eye on the injured area over the next few days and check that it is healing properly. If the area was red or swollen, this should start to disappear, and the pain from it should decrease.

If you find that the pain is increasing or you notice redness, swelling, or any other indication that the area is getting worse rather than healing, you should soak it in hot water and follow up with your doctor. There may be remaining fragments beneath the skin that need to be removed.

Hot water will help to ease the swelling if there is an infection, but you should still talk to your doctor and get the site checked by a medical professional if it isn’t healing.


Getting pencil lead out of your skin can be challenging, but it is possible to do this using sterile tools and hot water. Always check that the lead has been fully removed, and no fragments remain under the skin.

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