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Cactus spine injuries

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      Abstract

      Cactus spines produce injuries whose clinical significance is loosely in inverse proportion to the dimensions of the spine. Long and medium spines of saguaro and barrel cacti seldom result in embedded fragments, but when they do they are difficult to locate and remove. Other medium spines, those of prickly pear and cholla, are a nuisance but they can be removed readily by traction, as can the smaller spines (glochids) of the prickly pear. The very small spines (also glochids) of the polka dot or bunny's ear cactus (Opuntia microdasys) and the beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris) offer the most frustrating problem of all, but can be peeled off with a dried film of a professional facial gel.
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