Does Cactus Needle Cause Infection
Infection is often rare with cactus needles since most are culture negative.
Some of the most common infections that may occur are the Mycobacterium marinum infection and the fungal and nocardia infection.
Often, the infection that may develop is not caused by the needle itself but rather the exposure of the wound to dirty surroundings.
Needle parts or particles that have remained inside the skin for some time can also lead to infection that can be characterized by swelling and redness.
Patients that have been pricked will know if they have an infection when redness and swelling will develop along with red streaks, unexplained increase in pain, tenderness of the affected area, fever, drainage, and appearance of bums in the armpit and groin area that are tender.
Infection can be avoided by administering good aseptic technique, washing the affected area properly and application of an antibacterial ointment.
Ways to Remove Cactus Needle
- Larger needles that are very visible are easy to remove and will only require tweezers. There are those that can be removed by the fingers. This needs to be done precisely though to prevent the needle from snapping and leaving a portion still embedded in the skin.
- It is always wise to first examine the end of the cactus needle to make sure that it is intact.
- Those needles that are medium-sized can also be removed by using tweezers but would generally need more accuracy and care.
- It is easier to remove medium-sized needles after the affected area has been soaked in warm water for around ten minutes. This helps in loosening the skin.
- A duct tape or any adhesive tape can also be applied to the area and gently pulled away. This can pry out the needles.
- Dry hair gel can also be used. This will be spread evenly on the area and then pulled once it dries.
- A paper towel that is soaked in baby oil can help remove cactus skins by gently rubbing it on the area. This is best used for those small-sized needles in the skin.
- Ice can be used to numb the affected area before removal of small-sized needles.
- Some will try using glue to remove needles especially the ones that will just pass through tweezers. This kind of method is not recommended by medical practitioners since it can damage to the skin and its tissues.
- After removal, patients should make sure to clean the area with an antiseptic solution.
- If patients will have difficulties in removing the needles and when any signs of infection can be observed, it is always best to visit a doctor.