How do I treat Palm needle injury?

johnmcd348May 18, 2009

I was trimming the old limbs off my palm trees Saturday and I got poked a few times by the needles close to the base of the branch. One in particular was close to the knuckle on my right index finger. It has become increasingly painful but is not swollen. It feels almost arthritic in it's pain. The needle didn't break off it simply punctured the skin.

Does anyone have any kind of treatment that will help? I've been soaking it in Epsom salt but can't tell any difference in the level of pain. What makes it worse is I'm right handed.

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junglegal(10a)

I've done the same with bouganvilla thorns. Only time helped me. I'd take a couple aspirins and wait it out.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 11:18AM
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fawnridge(10A)

Wash it out with Peroxide and apply a topic ointment to kill any infection. Handle the pain with whiskey.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 12:12PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

When was your last tetanus shot?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 1:21PM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

"Wash it out with Peroxide and apply a topic ointment to kill any infection. Handle the pain with whiskey. "

ditto - excellent advice. Any puncture can become infected so the use of neosporin or other antibiotic ointment is important. The whiskey is important too but I can't remember why...

Kate

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 1:27PM
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fawnridge(10A)

"I always carry a bottle of whiskey in my pocket, in case of snake bites. I always carry a snake in the other pocket."
W.C. Fields

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 2:04PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Folks, how often do you see me get really serious here.

Ice cubes and icebergs, death by c. tetani is extremely tortuous. WHEN was you're last tetanus shot?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:39PM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Tom - I didn't mean to downplay your question. You are right to ask it and it is important. Any puncture wound is breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria. If johnmcd hasn't had a tetanus shot recently, he should get one.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:48PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi Kate, my statement wasn't directed at you, or Ricky, or anyone else but John. As active as we are in our gardens we have additional risk factors for a tetanus infection and I just want to make sure he realizes it's probably best to keep up with his tetanus boosters every FIVE years. We don't see the dark side of this issue much but it's a very painful death and easily avoided....

Tom

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:42AM
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johnmcd348

I'm current on Tetanus. It was probably 3-4 months ago now since my last one. I think my knuckle is just irritated since it was punctured close to the joint capsule. I've been living on Alleve, Tylenol and my regular script for Celebrex daily for the past couple of days and it's gotten a bit better

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:32AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Tom - no offense taken. I was just embarrassed because I'm a microbiologist and an occupational safety professional! If anyone should have asked about the tetanus shot it was me!

It also made me realize that it's been about 5 years since my last shot and I need to get one. Anyone who works with their hands in the soil (sounds like all of us, right?) should be sure they are up to date on their tetanus shot.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:46AM
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zoo-katie(FL10)

I as you can imagine do this all the time at the zoo, last friday I punctured my arm on an Agave I still have a bruise and a slight puncture mark. Even the company we get medical supplies can't find a good cure (we were looking for a remedy to Saddleback cats) Aspirin and whiskey lol

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:57AM
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tclynx

And when you can't use the whiskey...... I like to keep some leaves of Plantago major

(the lawn weed type plantain, no relation to the bananna like veggie)

in the freezer.
This makes a nice cold soothing poultice, just take a leaf or break off a bit of the frozen leaves and stick them on the painful spot after cleaning it. This has helped me deal with painful stings, bites, burns, scrapes and other maximally painful though minimally dangerous ouches.

The tetanus shot reminder is also a good one.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:16AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Okay, I'm ready for that whiskey now :-)

I also keep a tube of Anbesol gel handy, not for cold sores but for minor cuts that get painful, the 20% benzocaine really does the trick....

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:03PM
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fawnridge(10A)

Hey TC, can you smoke that stuff???

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:40PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

No Ricky, but you can smear it on the insides of your nasal passages ;-)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 7:06PM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

I knew I liked you guys.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:13PM
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abendwolke(9 FL)

I don't remember when I had my last tetanus shot... can one 'overdose' on tetanus shots?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:01AM
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imagardener2(9-10)

I don't remember when I had my last tetanus shot... can one 'overdose' on tetanus shots?

If so it would be me :-)
2 tetanus shots under 3 years because I forgot about the first one (dog fight amnesia). No ill effects at all.

Denise

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:05AM
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abendwolke(9 FL)

thanks Denise. I better make an appointment soon... and this time I'll write it down :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:42AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

FWIW, I use straight tea tree oil plus antibiotic ointment on sore cuts & scrapes, etc. - most of the remedies I see mentioned (besides the neosporin/peroxide) will alleviate pain, but do nothing to prevent or reduce infection.

Tetanus shots are for tetanus & there are numerous other germs that can infect a wound - staph is a biggie & MRSA can be a big concern these days.

IME, if a cut gets red & sore, that means infection, & painkillers may make you feel better, but they're not doing anything to fight infection. Best to nip it in the bud & don't allow it to possibly get out of control.Basic First Aid is to wash cuts well w/ soap & water, then dry & treat w/ antibiotic & cover, if appropriate. Open wounds & yardwork don't mix.

Just my 2 cents - sorry it's a bit late, HTH....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:27AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

....& MRSA can be a big concern these days.

Well, if your colonized with MRSA, pseudomonas and acinetobacter baumannii like me, what do you do then when you get a cut ;-)

3 Cents - we need to guard against fungal infections too, it's not enough to use just alcohol or peroxide, I always follow up with a good rinse with white iodine before applying an antibiotic ointment....

Tom

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 4:10PM
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