Person examining their foot outdoors, indicating a possible foreign object like glass needing removal

Step-by-step guide: how to get glass out of your foot.

Stepping on glass can be painful and unsettling. Here’s a quick, easy-to-follow guide to help you navigate how to safely remove glass from your foot and know when to seek medical help. Together, we can ensure your foot heals properly.

How to get glass out of your foot.

Removing glass from your foot can be done at home if it’s not deeply embedded.

Step-by-step instructions.

  1. Clean the area. Wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Inspect the wound. Carefully look at the wound to see if you can spot the piece of glass. Use a magnifying glass if needed.
  3. Soak your foot. Soak your foot in warm, soapy water (use mild, antibacterial soap) for a few minutes to soften the skin and make it easier to remove the glass.
  4. Use tweezers. Sterilize tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Gently grasp the visible piece of glass and pull it out at the same angle it entered.
  5. Disinfect the wound. Once the glass is out, clean the area again with soap and water, then apply an antiseptic.
  6. Bandage it up. Cover the wound with a clean bandage to protect it from dirt and bacteria.


  • Stay calm. Take your time and remain calm to avoid causing further injury.
  • Avoid digging. If the glass is deeply embedded, do not dig around. This can push the glass further in or cause more damage.


What happens if a piece of glass is left in the skin?

Leaving a piece of glass in your foot can lead to:

  • Infection. Signs include redness, swelling, warmth and pus.
  • Pain and swelling. Ongoing pain and swelling can occur.
  • Difficulty walking. Walking may become painful and difficult.
  • Abscess formation. The body may form an abscess around the glass, requiring surgical drainage.


Will a tiny piece of glass work its way out?

Sometimes, a tiny piece of glass can work its way out of the skin on its own. However, this isn't always the case. Here are some factors to consider:

Natural expulsion.

  • Body’s response. The body can sometimes push small glass shards to the surface over time. This happens as the skin heals and regenerates, potentially expelling the glass.
  • Inflammation. Mild inflammation might help move the glass to the surface, where it can be easily removed.

Risks of leaving glass in the skin.

  • Infection. Even tiny pieces of glass can lead to infection if left in the skin. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, and pus.
  • Pain and discomfort. A small piece of glass can cause ongoing pain or discomfort, especially if it's in a weight-bearing area like the foot.
  • Tissue damage. Over time, a foreign object in the skin can cause damage to the surrounding tissues, leading to more severe complications.
  • Abscess formation. The body might form an abscess around the glass, which is a painful collection of pus that requires medical intervention.


Foreign object removal at CityMD.

If you can’t remove the glass yourself or notice signs of infection, it’s time to seek professional help. Here’s what to expect at CityMD:

Professional care.

  • Medical evaluation. Our healthcare providers will carefully examine the wound and determine the best method for removing the glass.
  • Safe removal. We’ll use sterile instruments to remove the glass safely, minimizing pain and preventing further injury.
  • Treatment and advice. After removal, we’ll clean the wound and provide advice on how to care for it at home to ensure proper healing.


When to visit CityMD.

  • Glass is deeply embedded. Don’t try to remove deeply embedded glass on your own.
  • Signs of infection. Redness, swelling, warmth, pus or fever are signs that you need medical attention.
  • Persistent pain. If you continue to experience pain after attempting to remove the glass, seek professional help.

At CityMD, our healthcare team is ready to help you with any foreign object removal needs. Just walk into your neighborhood CityMD urgent care for timely, professional treatment to ensure your wound heals properly.

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We’re ready to care for you.

Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.