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How to Remove Nettle Thorns

Updated February 21, 2017

The stinging nettle plant is covered with a layer of tiny, fine hairs. These small hairs act like thorns that prick the skin of unsuspecting passersby. As the hairs touch your skin, they release a chemical that can painfully irritate the area. Since these hairs are minuscule, you will not likely be able to pull them out with tweezers. Instead of risking having them break as you pull them out, try to coax them out with regular packing or duct tape. If this does not pull all of them out, use hair removal wax.

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  1. Place a strip of tape over the area with the sticky side facing down. Pat it on your skin lightly; do not press.

  2. Lift the tape up and inspect your skin. If you have a magnifying glass, use this to help you spot the tiny nettle hairs.

  3. Use hair removal wax if you still have nettle hairs embedded in your skin. Follow the directions for your specific brand of wax. Most brands need to be heated in the microwave for a few seconds.

  4. Apply the wax to the area. Wait for it to dry. Typically, this takes about five minutes.

  5. Grasp the edge of the wax and lift it off your skin.

  6. Scrub the affected skin with a towelette or baby wipe. This may help remove additional nettle hairs; it may also help soothe your skin.

  7. Tip

    Soothe your skin with an antibiotic cream after removing the stinging nettle thorns.


    See your doctor if your skin irritation does not subside by the next day, or if you notice swelling or discharge. Visit your doctor if the nettle thorns are embedded in your face or sensitive areas of the body.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape
  • Magnifying glass
  • Hair removal wax
  • Towelette/baby wipe
  • Antibiotic cream

About the Author

Catherine Chase

Catherine Chase is a professional writer specializing in history and health topics. Chase also covers finance, home improvement and gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Skidmore College.

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