Skin and soft tissue can become entrapped between 2 magnets. The magnets may be placed intentionally or by accident, with problems arising if the magnets are difficult to remove.


Conditions making magnet removal difficult:

(1) The magnets are very powerful, such as rare earth or other special magnets.

(2) The magnets close together with only a small amount of tissue separating them.

(3) The magnets are small and smooth with point to gain purchase.

Method for Removal


application of a stronger magnetic field of opposite polarity

finding a large enough magnet may be difficult

heating the magnet to a temperature above the Neel or Curie point

tissue burn

repeated heavy hammering to crush the magnetic material (especially if brittle)

blunt trauma or crush injury if not careful

shearing the magnets away from each other by moving them perpendicular to the force of attraction



One way to evaluate the magnets is to place a large piece of paper of the magnet and to dust iron shavings on the paper. This should show the pattern of the magnetic field.


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