I was pricked by a cactus

wonka's picture

I was pricked by a cactus (post #8381)

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I bought 4 cactus for my brother in law, which made a mess I had to clean up out of HIS car. While cleaning I was pricked in the finger by a spine that had fallen off one of them. The finger felt irritated but OK for about four hours and then my finger started to swell, I took my ring off just in time, and turned a dark purple colour. Today most of the swelling is gone but the finger is still purple and a bit tender. Does anyone know about cactus spine toxicity. I'm now really curious about what happened inside my body. I have a new respect for cacti as well.

Veronica in Vancouver

SarahC's picture

(post #8381, reply #1 of 3)

I recommend if you have any part of you that turns dark purple and swells, go to a doctor sooner rather than later. 

My darling husband got an insignificant bug bite that swelled and turned purple.  After ignoring it for several days (he was busy, it was just a bug bite, we were getting ready to go on vacation, it was just a stupid bug bite, he had to finish up some projects at work etc.) he got a fever and finally went (on my insistence) to get help.  He was hospitalized instantly and put on an IV antibiotic.  Somehow from that little mosquito or whatever he got an infection and was told it would have killed him in another 24 hours.  In his case, he had developed cellulitis (not cellulite!)   So now I am a little more cautious.


zone 6 gardening in the woods with 30,000 deer


zone 6 gardening in the woods with 30,000 deer

wonka's picture

(post #8381, reply #2 of 3)

Good advice. I'll get it checked out.


jeana's picture

(post #8381, reply #3 of 3)

I agree - outside of bruises and circles under the eyes, anything purble needs to be looked at. There are a few stinging plants, but cacti don't have stinging spines. Members of the Euphorbia family have a milky sap that can cause dermatitis.

You have to remember that spines are like hypodermic needles. You wouldn't want to get stuck with a dirty needle. All the microscopic beasties on the spines are instantly "injected" when you get stuck. Gardeners have died from tetnus from plant-related puncture wounds.

Jeana Never try to baptize a cat.