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December 28, 1984

Removal of Small Cactus Spines From the Skin

Author Affiliations

Burbank, Calif

JAMA. 1984;252(24):3368. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350240018024

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To the Editor.—  I do not know if the following method of extracting cactus spines has been reported previously. It seems to be successful, however, and I thought it would be of general interest to the members of our profession.My daughter recently fell on a small cactus covered with innumerable small spines. When these were embedded in her skin, they were quite painful but exceedingly small. Although it was possible to remove them one by one using tweezers, this was quite uncomfortable for her and exceedingly tedious. The skin was covered with so many of these small spines that they had the appearance of fine bristles or fur upon the skin.I applied to the involved area of skin a thick layer of woodworking glue; any white water-soluble woodworking glue would certainly do the job. I then covered this layer of glue with a piece of linen and allowed