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What Happens If You Touch A Cactus

Touching a cactus is a sure way to end up with prickly reminders of your mistake. Cacti have sharp spines, or glochids, that easily embed themselves into the skin and cause a stinging sensation.

Unless the spine lands in an eye or other sensitive area, medical attention is typically not required. Home remedies and simple over-the-counter products can be used for soothing relief and to aid in healing.

The affected area should be cleaned away from any debris and dried as soon as possible. Corticosteroid creams or ibuprofen can help reduce swelling, pain, and itching. If the pain persists, oral antihistamines can also provide some comfort. Bandages should be applied if necessary to keep dirt and sweat out of the wound while it heals.

If all else fails, soaking the wound in hot water may provide some temporary comfort; however, care must be taken not to scald the skin or damage any underlying tissue, as this could be more damaging than helpful. An Epsom salt bath helps relax sore muscles, which may result from accidental movements caused by the discomfort of having thorns embedded in the skin.

Applying a small amount of witch hazel extract helps draw out foreign bodies, such as glochids, from deeper wounds and reduces irritation associated with cactus puncture wounds can be reduced by applying cotton dipped into apple cider vinegar on the site several times throughout the day until signs of recovery begin to show.

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