• Cacti only grow in the Americas.
  • There are over 2,000 species varying in size and shape from round globes to vines to tree-like structures.


Causes of Injury
  • Irritation, pricks, punctures and infection from:
    • spines and glochids of cacti
    • splinters


  • Avoid contact with cacti or rough logs or wood that can splinter.


Planning / Packing Guide
  • Tweezers
  • Needle and alcohol swab
  • Duct tape
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Antiseptic or antibacterial gel
  • Bandages
  • Cold pack or ice


  • Pain
  • Skin Irritation
  • Signs of infection (redness, swelling, warmth)


First Aid
  • Remove the largest spines and splinters from the injured area with tweezers.
  • Use sterilized needle to gently lift embedded spines and splinters to the surface for removal with tweezers.
  • Work slowly to prevent injury to tissue.
  • Apply a piece of duct tape before washing the area to remove small spines.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the area if it is bleeding.
  • Clean area gently with soap and warm water.
  • Apply antiseptic or antibacterial gel.
  • Bandage the injury.
  • Apply ice or a cold pack to the area for any swelling.


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