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I was trimming bougainvillea and a thorn poked my finger through the gloves I was wearing. Three days later, my finger is stiff, red, and very sore. I cannot bend it at the joint where I was poked. Is this something that needs to be treated? I don't see a visible thorn. Can I get an infection?
Hardiness Zone: 10a
Michelle from San Diego
You most definitely need to get to a doctor!!
Until you get to a doctor.........soak it in a solution of epsom salt and warm water. That should draw some of the poison out of it. Do you have a red swollen finger or are there red streaks running away from the initial sore area? If you have red streaks you need to get yourself to a doctor........NOW!
How do you treat a bougainvillea thorn in your thumb?
Pull out the thorn. Make it bleed a little.
How do I get a bougainvillea thorn out of the bottom of my foot?
Soak it in a solution of Epsom salt and water and get to a doctor as quickly as you can.
Ouch! This site at the end of the message gives clear directions for removal, although if it were me, because these thorns can cause all kinds of irritations, reactions, and complications, I would leave extraction and treatment to a PCP or urgent care. ASAP!!!!
You don't want to risk not getting it all out. Be sure to follow the md or nurses advice for treatment so you don't risk infection. Sending healing thoughts your way!
If you do a dyi removal, I urge you to least call your doctor to find out what they recommend for after care and what to look for if things change. Safely first!!!
Soak your foot in extra strong Epsom salt/hot water solution for at least 30 minutes. Water should be hot but not hot enough to burn your foot. Repeat and if thorn comes out, repeat same process again.
Repeat one more time and if thorn does not easily come out, go to an emergency care center.
Emergency care centers will take anyone with or without insurance. There may be an upfront fee but this may be deemed an emergency so try to find a way to do this.
I know this does not sound very orthodox but you can apply duct tape (after thorough cleaning) and sometimes it will "draw" out a thorn but you may still need to be sure there is no poison left and Epsom salt solution may help with this.
Seeing a doctor, if at all possible, is your safest route so pay close attention to your foot until you make that trip.
The first thing you do is not wait for us. There are sites all over and you can just google "removing a thorn from your foot" and get tons. It might take as much as a week to get posted here, so please don't wait next time.
Can bougainvillea cause severe itching?
Yes the thorns have a toxin in them that can cause severe itching especially if you are sensitive to the toxin.