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Tetanus shot for cactus needles?

By June 4, 2008 - 7:19pm
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This past weekend, while on a long run in the countryside with my running group, I had a close encounter with a wild cactus that was reaching out through a guard rail to touch someone, and that someone was me. It just goes to show I can't read (the directions printed out by our run coordinator) and run at the same time! I didn't even see the cactus.

Fortunately, it was a fairly light brush with the plant, but I don't think I got all the really fine needles out and am concerned about possible infection. A friend of mine suggested getting a tetanus shot.

For cactus?

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Facial gel? Who would have thought!

I hope I did get all the almost invisible spicules (never knew that's what they're called). What's left now is a bit of scarring, like insect bites, but no swelling. So, I think that's a good sign.

I did pull a nasty needle out of the tongue of my shoe, though - yikes!

Thanks for the information; I'll have to share this with my running group!

June 5, 2008 - 5:46pm

Ouch! Have had my share of cactus attacks as well. The Texas Children's Hospital also acknowledges that catus needles may be somewhat difficult to remove because they break when pressure is applied with a tweezers. Here's what they suggest to get rid of them ...

Facial gel: Apply a layer of facial gel or wax depilatory (hair remover). Let it air dry for five minutes or accelerate the process with a hair dryer. Then peel it off with the spicules. The others will usually work themselves out with normal shedding of the skin.
Tape: Another option is to lightly touch the area with packaging tape or another very sticky tape.

How deep are the needles? Do you see signs of an infection now?

June 4, 2008 - 9:09pm
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