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December 1987

Removal of Cactus Spines From the Skin: A Comparative Evaluation of Several Methods

Author Affiliations

From the St Louis College of Pharmacy (Drs Martinez and Jerome and Mr Xander); the Cardinal Glennon Regional Poison Control Center (Dr Martinez and Mr Jaeger) and the Department of Pediatrics (Dr Barry), Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St Louis; and the Department of Pediatrics, St Louis Children's Hospital (Dr Jerome).

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(12):1291-1292. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460120053033

• The removal of very fine cactus spines from the skin is particularly distressing for the pediatric patient. We describe two typical patients and a study in experimental animals comparing the effectiveness of several previously described methods for removal. The most effective method involved using tweezers to remove clumps of spines followed by a thin layer of glue covered with gauze, which was allowed to dry and then peeled off to remove individual spines Attempts to use adhesive tape or a thin layer of a commercial facial mask to aid in removal of the spines produced more retention and inflammation three days after removal than no treatment.

(AJDC 1987;141:1291-1292)

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