Are Cactus Thorns Poisonous if they Prick Your Skin?

Are Cactus Thorns Poisonous if they Prick Your Skin?


Cactus thorns are hardly and tolerant of the agents of drought and other areas where there is a scarcity of water. There is an ongoing controversy as to whether this special kind of plant is poisonous or not. But just what is the correct position? We can never answer this question in one straight answer or line.

The topic is a bit broad and detailed such that we really have to dig deeper. For one, the cactus is strictly speaking not thorns. Instead, they are green, succulent, and fleshy leaves that develop mainly in the desert or the semi-arid plants. At the tips of these leaves are some thorns that protrude out sharp.

If and when they get in direct contact with the human skin, they do give some painful sensation that may also scar and bleed the skins considerably. But could there be something more beyond this unpleasant sensation? Well, dedicate the proceeding segment of our discussions to just that.


There are two main kinds of cactus thorns. These two kinds play out insofar as their potential impacts are concerned. We examine them here below for your own appropriate knowledge and insight. They are:


As their name implies, the spikes are small, narrow, and sharp-pointed. They are mainly painful if and when they get into direct contact with your hands. Additionally, they are also well attached to the body of the plants not to mention that they occur singly in the places so mentioned.

If you have to get rid of them, you have to break them off the plants they may be attached to. In many cases, these spikes are also called spines. Take great care as you interact with them as they have the tendency to sink deeper into the skin and never come out easily.


The glochids are smaller and hairy-like. Unlike the spikes above, they exist in colonies or hundreds and occasionally thousands. They are nonetheless easier to get off the plants. Many a time, only a snag is what you need for the job. Compared to the spikes, they are not really painful and are hence less of a worry.


In a nutshell, NO! The impacts they most likely bring along depends mainly on the kind of cactus thorn we are talking about here.

The spikes comprise some bare shafts that are tenderer to the skin when compared to the glochilds. It hence goes that you are less likely to sustain severe damages to your skin and consequently more pain if and when you are impacted with the spikes compared to the alternatives.

Though smaller, the glochilds are more likely to cause severe damages on your skin thanks mainly to their barbed shafts and the sheer large numbers. Simply put: a single brush of the glochild may in fact infuse on your skin hundreds of the prickly thorns on your skin by reason of the same clamping into your skin at a time.

Additionally, these two kinds of cactus thorns can open the floodgates to worse problems than the ones aforementioned. The situation as a matter of fact gets compounded if and when the toxins are let to infiltrate the open wounds that are left behind by the prickles and scars. Below are the main ways in which they may impact you adversely:

Minor Wounds

The first and foremost adverse consequence of the prickle is that it causes minor wounds. These wounds may cause the blood to ooze from the vessels for a too long duration of time not to mention also taking a considerably longer length of time to completely heal. Woe unto you if you have leukemia or hemophilia.

Serious Infections

In case the wounds are not mitigated in time or given the serious attention they deserve, you may get serious infections that may not go away easily or may take too much of a toll from you to mitigate. These wounds may in fact open avenues for more debilitating impacts at a later date.


Knowing that these thorns may inflict severe pain on you is not enough. It is definitely important also to know how to deal with the stabs if and when the same eventually arise. We now dedicate the proceeding segments of our discussions to just that:

Dislodge the Thorn

Just as is the case with the standard procedure of taking care of an open wound, you should start out by dislodging the thorn from the skin. Use your nails or the safety pins to do this job. Exercise great care that you do not worsen the problem principally by being reckless in your handling.

Maintain Unparalleled Cleanliness

At all times, you should maintain unparalleled cleanliness of the open wound. Use the methylated spirit and clean cotton wool to dress the area appropriately as need be. This way, you will forestall any severe infections from arising at a later date. Leave the same to dry first before proceeding to the next step.

Wrap the Wound with Bandages

Finish off the exercise by wrapping the wounds with clean bandages. Be sure to wrap the entire wound with the bandage to prevent any adverse infections from possibly harming the open wounds. Remember to change the bandages every now and then for the sake of added hygiene to the wounds.

PLEASE NOTE: You will experience some discomfort when attempting to dress these wounds. Take heart though because this is a standard-issue that all persons are bound to contend with, in the course of dressing their wounds.


Back to our main question: Are cactus thorns poisonous if they prick your skin? The answer is NO! They are not poisonous at all. Nonetheless, the prickles they leave behind are too painful to bear. Moreover, the open wounds they leave behind are often gateways to more serious infections later on. You are hence advised to approach them with great care! Could you please share and pass this information on to others?

Recent Articles


The Top 10 Best Gas Powered Leaf Blower

Best Gas Powered Leaf Blower INTRODUCTION Looking to blow away the leaf debris from your compounds and premises? You have two main options for the leaf...

The Top 10 Battery Powered Leaf Blower

Battery Powered Leaf Blower INTRODUCTION Have some leaves which you want to blow away? We recommend the battery-powered leaf blower for the job. As its name...

Cactus With Flowers (2020 Reviews & Updated)

Cactus with Flowers Guide? Different flowers and plants have different meanings. Some are used to convey love, others friendship, others mourning yet others cordial relations...

Super Cute Bunny Succulents For Your Garden

Super Cute Bunny Succulents For Your Garden INTRODUCTION Wanting to spruce your gardens and yards using the succulents, we are pleased to notify you that you...

Related Stories

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox