How to Get a Thorn Out of Your Leg

Written by melissa morang
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How to Get a Thorn Out of Your Leg
Cacti are not the only plants with painful thorns. (NA/ Images)

It's easy to forget about thorns when you're working in your garden near rosebushes or bougainvillea. However, if your leg brushes into a thorny plant accidentally and a thorn buries itself in your leg, don't be alarmed; you can usually remove it quickly in a manner that reduces the risk of infection.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Clean the leg in which the thorn is lodged. Use a mild soap and warm water to remove any dirt or bacteria.

  2. 2

    Slowly remove the thorn with a pair of tweezers. If you can't see the thorn, it may be under the skin. Don't worry. Sterilise a needle by pouring rubbing alcohol over it, then pierce the skin with the needle. Follow this by lifting the tip of the thorn with the needle and removing it with the tweezers.

  3. 3

    Wash the area of your leg that contained the thorn using mild soap and warm water.

  4. 4

    Place a clean cotton towel under cold running water. Wring it out and apply the compress to the wounded area of your leg to help relieve any itching or pain from the thorn. Leave the compress on for 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment available at any chemist. Follow the directions on the package to apply the antibiotic ointment properly.

  6. 6

    Place a bandage over the wounded area of your leg to keep infection-causing dirt and bacteria away.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a magnifying glass if you can't see the thorn to help locate and remove it.
  • You can also use cellophane tape to remove a thorn. Just place it on the thorn and quickly pull it off to remove the thorn. An alternative method to remove the thorn involves using household glue. Apply a thin layer of regular household glue to the area of the leg in which the thorn is lodged. Place a layer of gauze over the spot and leave it for 30 minutes. When you remove the gauze, the thorn will come up with it.
  • Call a doctor if your skin becomes red or filled with pus, as you may have an infection.

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