June 1988

Removal of Cactus Spines From the Skin

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Wisconsin Emergency Department Children's Hospital of Wisconsin 1700 W Wisconsin Ave Mail Station #756 Milwaukee, WI 53201

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(6):587. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150060021005

Sir.—I read with interest the article about removal of cactus spines from the skin by Martinez et al1 in the December 1987 issue of AJDC. The authors found the combination of tweezers and glue to be the most effective method of removing bunches of spines. However, the use of tweezers can be difficult in the young, uncooperative child, and glue application and drying can be time-consuming. The following report illustrates an alternative method of cactus spine removal in children.

Patient Report.—A 2-year-old girl presented to our emergency department after falling on a cactus plant display. She had multiple implantation of spines on her left hand and the lower third of her left forearm. She was agitated, crying, and unconsolable by her parents. Initial attempts to remove the spines using tweezers proved unsuccessful even after restraining the child. The attempt was aborted after a few minutes, and the

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