Dangerous Cactus Top With Thorns MacroCredit: J. Henning Buchholz, via sxc.hu

If you grow succulent plants, sooner or later you will have to discover, how to remove cactus thorns embedded in your fingers. Fear not, as there are few different ways of extracting spikes from your hands. Most of them are less painful than you might expect, thanks to the use of home remedies. Let's see what you can do to remove plant thorns stuck in your hands.

How to remove cactus thorns lodged in your fingers with home remedies

First, you can attempt to draw out the splinter with an aid of the simple substance, which you have at home. If you have a special salve for drawing out foreign bodies, that's your first choice of action. There are few homemade remedies you can use as well. Popular one is a bacon fat, which works thanks to a high salt content. Apply it on the surface, in which the barb is lodged and bind the finger gently with clear gauze. Next day when you unwrap the protection you may find that the thistle came out on its own, or will do so with just a bit of prodding.

Grandmothers recommend placing a piece of a wet bread over the splinter and binding it overnight. The bread draws out the offending piece, when it's drying. There's an another simple remedy, which you have available and which helps to extract cactus needles from your fingers. Soaking the affected fingers in the white vinegar for at least half an hour makes the cactus thorns easier to dislodge - sometimes they even come out with no prodding at all.

Finally, making a paste of some water and bicarbonated soda and applying to the area around the barb causes the hand to swell and that can frequently push out the splinter. However, it's difficult to try other ways of removing the foreign body from swollen flesh afterwards, therefore use the soda paste only as the last resort remedy.

How to remove cactus thorns embedded in your fingers with adhesive tape

A friendly, fluffy look tends to attract kids to pet cactus plants with tiny spikes, which are too small to remove them one by one and remarkably painful. How to extract them?

Put your hurting hand under the stream of the cold water to wash out some of the cactus thorns buried in your fingers and to numb the pain as well. Then, stick the piece of an adhesive tape to the affected area and pull it in the opposite direction, than the barb went in.

Some people report positive results, when applying glue and letting it dry, then peeling off. However, with so many different brands of glue there's a risk of getting the powerful one stuck to your fingers.

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How to remove cactus thorns stuck in your fingers with sharp needle

Sometimes all the length of a splinter is buried in your appendage. Or, it has broken during your removal efforts, leaving the part of the cactus thorn inside. What now? While you could leave the foreign body in your flesh to come out on its own, the process hurts and you risk infecting the afflicted area. It's better to remove the cactus thorns stuck in your digits yourself.

Before the operation hold an ice cube on the area, that hurts to numb it. To get started, find the thin needle. Disinfect it and your finger around the barb with an alcohol. Firmly hold the needle and cut the skin above the cactus thorn to expose it. Gently put the needle under the splinter and leverage it out. As soon as even a bit of the spike starts to stick out, you can use tweezers to pull it out.

For better precision use the aid of the magnifying glass attached to the tweezers.

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How to extract cactus thorns embedded in your fingers with tweezers

What if those remedies didn't help? Hopefully they made the thistle easier to pull out, but now you have to try the next level of thistle removal: using tweezers with a magnifying glass. Not every pair of tweezers work equally well; if possible, choose those with tips fitting together and leaving no space in between. They make it easier to capture the splinter.

To make sure you don't infect your finger, disinfect the tweezers and the skin around the barb with alcohol or perhydrol. Use magnifying glass if necessary to see the cactus needle well. Firmly capture the end of the spike with tweezers and pull it in the direction, in which it's sticking already. Don't attempt to remove the splinter under any different angle, as it might break and leave a piece inside your finger. Remember, that you can only use tweezers, if a part of the cactus splinter is sticking out from your hand.

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So, you can remove cactus prickles stuck in your appendage with tweezers or a sharp needle, or you can use home remedies to draw them out. Finally, you can use adhesive tape to peel off the tiny spikes.

A word of warning: if a cactus thorn is stuck in your eye, under a fingernail, or if you suspect, that an infection is developing, seek the professional aid, because the complications can be dangerous. However, in most cases you can safely remove cactus thorns embedded in your fingers yourself with a few easy tricks.