The biggest health issue in the tropics is sunburn. In fact, the word for white people in Tahiti is papaa, which means sunburned skin. There is no magic for preventing sunburning in the South Pacific than in other areas. However, remember you are much closer to the equator than you probably are at home.
So begin with short exposures in the sun, followed by equal amounts of time in the shade. Avoid the sun from 1000 through 1400; and drink plenty of liquids, water is the best, to keep your pores open. Wear a tee shirt when snorkeling to protect your back, and wear sunglasses when in the sun to protect your eyes from getting cataracts.
Apply lotion (not oil) before heading to the beach, and ensure that it is at least 30 SPF. Reapply as often as needed to protect the skin from lotion washed away by water and perspiration. After returning from sunbathing, take a tepid bath or shower, not a hot one. Hot baths and showers wash away natural, healing oils. Apply Vitamin E evening cream after the bath or shower to preserve your skin. Calamine lotion, Solarcaine, and coconut oil soothe sunburned skin. Aloe vera, and bathing with vinegar prevents peeling skin. When all else fails, take in a museum for a day to give the skin a chance to rest.
Cite for September Posts: Stanley, D., South Pacific Handbook.