This, and the Lamisil (an antifungal) you say one doctor prescribed have nothing to do with prickly pear glochids. Any secondary infection (which is possible when one is impaled by thorns of any kind) is extremely unlikely to manifest years after exposure.
Uh, no they don’t. We are talking about very tiny, difficult to see hair-like projections that don’t migrate through the bloodstream or lymphatics to appear “anywhere” in the body. They are inert foreign bodies, so small that any embedded in the skin should long ago have been bound up in foreign body reaction and fibrosis, and either broken down or rendered unable to migrate through tissue under any conceivable circumstances. There could quite possibly be small lumps (granulomas) that are seen as irritating or disfiguring, but shouldn’t be itchy (unless constant scratching causes skin irritation) and don’t represent an active process.
Nope, none of that is true.
Sounds like at least some may not think it’s a dermatologic problem. If it is, here’s an interesting idea: “In perhaps the only controlled study (in rabbits), glochids (of Opuntia ficus-indica) were most effectively removed by first removing the larger clumps with tweezers and then applying glue to the affected area with gauze on top. After the glue dried, the gauze was grasped and peeled off. This resulted in removal of 95% of implanted spines.”
Before going further down the derm route, reading these and similar postings on the webmd forums might be eye-opening: