How To Remove Cactus Needles From Clothes

“Dieter claims that it is a natural response. However, if at all possible, “you’re better off not using your fingers.

It’s all too simple to make things worse, especially if you attempt to remove cholla bits with your own hands. Nobel once seen the results of this choice in a couple who had been harmed by the infamous teddy bear cholla in the Saguaro National Forest. As one of the couple initially got trapped on a piece of stem, his wife became caught when she attempted to remove him.

According to Nobel, the more they fought, the deeper their spines went.

They were holding hands with the torturous joint while yelling for aid as they walked along the road in an uncomfortable embrace. By removing the spines with a pair of wire cutters, Nobel was able to liberate the pair.

Before dealing with the individual prickers, Puente-Martinez also suggests cutting the section of stem to which the spines are attached, like he did in Mexico when his friend’s lip turned into a pincushion. He suggests using a pair of scissors or pliers to cut the stem-attached spines, leaving about a half-inch piece of spine still embedded in your flesh. The stem and some of the spines can also be worked free using the teeth of a comb. If you don’t have any tools on hand and the spines are stuck in your hand, another option is to lean over, step on the stem joint, and pull your hand free. However, this will probably result in a little more blood as the spines are drawn out.

Depending on the kind of spine you have, there are different things you should do next. You can try using a pair of tweezers to remove larger, needle-like spines. The straight spines on saguaro cacti are the easiest to remove, however barbed cholla spears or hooked spines like those on barrel cacti require a little more effort to remove.

When you try to remove cactus spines, they frequently break, leaving bits under your skin. According to Trager, “[the area] will stay sensitive to the touch, so you’ll know if you haven’t gotten it all.

To find the spine fragment, you can try using tweezers or a needle, however they may be transparent and difficult to find.

According to Trager, trying to manipulate the spine with a needle frequently results in more harm than the spine itself did. “It might not be worth performing unless you can truly see the broken base of the spine just under the skin or something. According to him, some of the discomfort from implanted spines can be relieved by soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath.

Cactus Spines Overview

The Southwest features a cactus with those thorny spines that carry a sharp punch, which is your enemy when hiking there.

I adore cacti and am frequently spotted on the trail taking pictures of them, especially young barrel cacti.

However, despite how “cute and “beautiful they are, a slip or a brush against one can result in some discomfort. Or the severe discomfort a woman had in Sedona after falling into a large area of cacti that lodged their “needles all over her body Four of us were using tweezers to assist her in getting rid of them.

The two different kinds of “thorns” or “needles” on cacti are called glochids and spines.

Cactus Spines

The enormous spines are “cactus needles that can be easily seen with the naked eye from a distance of a few feet.

This is the “Good ones are the ones that are the simplest to get rid of. In some cases, you can remove the spines by yourself rather than using your cactus first aid kit.

If you decide to remove a spine by hand, proceed with extreme caution to avoid pushing it in or breaking the spine, both of which will make the process more difficult.

Cactus Glochids

Glochids are the needles that resemble hair and that you can see when you are close to a cactus. Because they are so small, they may be difficult to see, and they may enter in groups, these are the ones that can be the most difficult to remove “Normally, needles include a barb, which makes it challenging to remove them.

DO NOT attempt to manually remove glochids! Tweezers or a combination of tweezers and a pair of tweezers should be used to remove this “putty patch

A microscopic focal stack of 21 images of a cholla cactus spine reveals the barbs that make removal agonizingly painful.

How Do You Treat Cactus Wounds

Once all of the spines or glochids have been taken out, clean the wound well and apply an antibiotic ointment. Try to wrap the places with a bandage, gauze, and tape if you have them, especially if you’re in a “dirty location.”

If your wound(s) are itching or in discomfort, use your best judgment when choosing a medication and think about utilizing a topical solution and/or an over-the-counter choice like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

What Happens if You Leave a Cactus Needle In

What goes in must eventually come out. If that tiny pimple appears at the site of the cut, it might unfortunately be a painful process. Typically, that indicates that it has reached the surface of the skin, and you should be able to get rid of it by carefully pressing the pimple out with your fingers after emptying it.

Are Cactus Needles Dangerous

Although cactus spines are not toxic to people or animals, if they are left in or are not properly cared for, there is a potential that the wound area will become infected.

There is a possibility that something on the spine, such germs, might possibly result in an infection.

How to Remove Cactus Spines

Use a pair of needle-nose tweezers to remove as many spines and glochids as you can if you are unable to remove them by hand. If there is any Elmer’s Glue remaining, spread it over the affected area and cover it with gauze while it dries, which takes around 30 minutes.

Duct Tape

Because it can be used for so many different things, like fixing malfunctioning equipment temporarily and mending torn clothes, duct tape is a particularly useful tool to bring in your backpack. I keep a little roll in my rucksack and a small quantity attached to my hiking poles.

Forcep Tweezer With Pointed Tips

When you need to remove spines and glochids precisely, tweezers with pointy tips are more useful than those with slant tips.

You can purchase them online or in the beauty section of your preferred retail establishment.

Finding a “combo kit with sharp tip tweezers and a magnification is something I advise.

Tweezer With Magnifier from Amazon, REI, and Walmart can be seen in the combo set from these online merchants.

Lighter or Matches to “Disinfect the Items

It’s advised to keep a tiny lighter on hand at all times in case you need to start a fire or clean the tools you’ll be using to remove the spines in an emergency.

Learn more about the 10 Essentials for the Southwest Hiker to bring in case of emergencies.

Elmer’s Glue-All

This is one of the most frequently advised methods for removing cactus spines and glochids when used in conjunction with gauze.

Because it’s so difficult to locate little bottles, I always take a 4-ounce bottle about with me, even though it’s bigger than I need. Amazon is the only place I could discover to buy them. View the Elmer’s Glue-All 1.25 ounce container.

I’ve only used Elmer’s Glue-All, the “all-purpose kind,” not the kid-friendly washable variety.

Wound Wash

Since we typically don’t bring soap and water to keep our hands clean, this is a challenging one to undertake while hiking.

We will rinse the area with water from our hydration bladders to get rid of any debris.

Disinfecting Items With Fire

Heat your instruments with a lighter until the metal becomes red for the quickest and most effective way to “disinfect” them. Once it gets red, let it cool and then begin the removal process of the intrusive object (s).

If you don’t have a lighter, see if you have alcohol wipes in your first aid box.

Antibiotics and Antihistamines

Most people advise keeping antibiotics in your cactus first aid kit, but we go a step further and recommend including an over-the-counter antihistamine to help with any reactions you might have to the unpleasant skin invader.

What gets rid of cactus thorns?

Cactus spines can be easily removed with a pair of tweezers if you manage to get one or two stuck in the flesh. But what if you end up being one of the unfortunate people who gets stuck with a hand, foot, or butt full of needles? Elmer’s Glue works well for this, just spread a thin layer of it over the surface.

Once the glue has had time to dry completely, allow it to sit for a while before peeling it off. Your skin-piercing needles will rise to the surface and be pulled out by the glue. If you get a good foot- or handful, you might need to repeat a number more times.

Using duct tape is a different choice that I haven’t personally tested but that has received excellent recommendations (should you be out of glue.) However, since you’ll have to apply pressure in order to trap the needles, this seems uncomfortable.

In either case, when you remove the spines, make sure to thoroughly cleanse the area with antibacterial soap. You don’t want the injury to contract an infection.

If portion of the needle does not stick out above the skin, you can find it more challenging. You could want to leave it in your skin for a few days if it isn’t hurting you. The needles are pushed to the top by the body, which makes them simpler to catch.

Call an ambulance if you experience a serious fall and become coated in needles, but in reality, it would be best to stay clear of the cacti altogether.

Can you remove cactus needles with tape?

Accidentally running into a cactus can be unpleasant enough, but as a natural defense mechanism, the cactus sheds its spines to protect the main plant and then regrows new ones. A quick fix for removing little cactus spines is to use duct tape, although this powerful adhesive only works to remove around one-third of the spines. Duct tape can be used repeatedly to relieve pressure on the spine, but there are a few additional methods that work considerably more quickly.

Without glue, how do you remove tiny cactus needles from skin?

You can be watering or gently removing your cactus from the pot when you suddenly discover that a thorn is lodged in your finger. What should you do in these circumstances? Well, the first step is to try to maintain your composure while grabbing some tweezers or sticky tape (tape) depending on how big or small the object is.

Once you have it, all you need to do is either use tweezers to remove the cactus that has become lodged in your skin or to pass duct tape over the area where it became lodged. I suggest using a sterile needle or one that has already been cleansed with pharmaceutical alcohol to gently poke around until the thorn is removed if it has been fractured and/or has remained entirely inside the skin.

Instructions: Removing cactus stuck in skin

  • Find the cactus needle injury by looking over the affected person’s body.
  • Make a note of the cactus needles and the location where they enter the body.
  • Examine all of the clothing, shoes, and other equipment you were wearing when you came into touch with the cactus plant. Without being physically affixed to the skin, needles can irritate skin by poking through socks and clothing.
  • If cactus needles can be seen with the naked eye, pinch and remove them using tweezers. An optical magnifier can be useful.
  • Every time you extract a cactus needle, clean the tweezers on a piece of paper. Before pulling out more needles, each one must be taken out of the tweezers because they can become stuck. Keep the paper towel away from any other surfaces. When you’re finished, throw away the paper towel.
  • To reduce inflammation in the affected area, use a cooling face toner, such as witch hazel.

The Glue Method

  • Apply a thin layer of white craft glue that is water-soluble to the affected region. Any glue needle that has a portion of its surface protruding through the skin should be removed. Dry the adhesive well. White craft glue can be swapped out for rubber cement adhesive, masking tape, or tape.
  • Peel one edge of the sticky film slowly up. With your fingertips, lift the edge, and then swiftly peel it away from your flesh. This method of getting rid of cactus hair is comparable to shaving with hot wax.
  • Using new tape, repeat the process if you’re using it. Never use the same tape twice since you run the danger of getting thorns again.
  • Apply the affected area with a cotton ball dipped in a cool face toner, such as witch hazel.

The Pantyhose Method

  • Put some heavy disposable gloves on your hands.
  • Old pantyhose can be rolled up and brushed over the affected area in a single direction. The panty will remove needles from the skin with each swipe. It might take a few swipes. As long as you swipe in a single direction, you shouldn’t feel any needles trapped in your underwear.
  • Panty should be brushed in the other way. This needs to be done multiple times. To prevent re-injecting needles into your skin, follow a guide.
  • Create a fresh plug out of the pantyhose, then brush the afflicted region clockwise. Cactus needles may need to be removed with several swipes, but make sure to turn your hand clockwise to prevent reinserting them into your skin.
  • The damaged region should be covered in a counterclockwise motion. If you want to get rid of all the cactus needles, you might need to repeat this instruction. Till all needles are gone, turn counterclockwise.
  • Put the tights and gloves in the garbage after use.

The Wait-and-see Method: Do cactus needles dissolve?

Is the cactus needle embedded deeply enough that there is really no way to remove it? The likelihood is that after some time it will emerge on its own. If you do experience a lot of pain, you can use a pumice stone to smooth the needles in your skin in less sensitive areas, such the area beneath your foot. Instead than pulling the needle out of your skin, you sort of grind out the tips.

  • Leave the cactus spikes where they are in the injured region.
  • Watch for the cactus spines to finally melt or fall to the ground.
  • While you wait, keep an eye out for discomfort or infection. Apply witch hazel to the area to clean and cool it if you see any redness. Consult a doctor if irritation lasts a long time.