Posted in Hawaii & South Pacific

Exploring Health in the South Pacific – Ailments


Cuts and scratches:
Cuts and scratches are easily infected in the tropics, and they can take a long time to heal. Prevent infections from coral cuts by washing with soap and fresh water. Adding vinegar or alcohol (like whiskey) into the wounds will be painful but effective in stopping infection. Aloe Vera and Solarcaine is good for speeding healing on burns, cuts, and bites. Insect bites, especially the nono bites, itch for days and can become easily infected. These bites cause different reactions to different people. You’ll soon discover which one you are.

Prickly heat:
Prickly heat, which is an irritating rash, is caused by wearing heavy or inappropriate clothing. Leave the synthetics in the states. You’ll need breathable fabrics in the tropics. If you do get prickly heat, take off your clothes, take a cold shower or bath, apply calamine lotion, and then dust with talcum powder. While you still have the rash, avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and any physical activity that makes you sweat.

Eat a pineapple or any peeled fruit. If the problem continues, eat more pineapple or peeled fruit.

Instead of using anti-diarrhea drugs, drink plenty of fresh, unsweetened liquids like coconut or fruit to flush yourself out and get rid of what is bothering you. If you must take something, an egg yolk mixed with nutmeg helps diarrhea. Avoid dairy products. Consider a day of rice and tea to get your balance back.

Proactive – for some reason, people taking B-1 are not attractive to mosquitoes. The anopheles mosquitoes, the ones that carry malaria, do not hum so you’ll never hear them coming at you. These mosquitoes are most active dusk to dawn. Wear long shirts and long pants. Sleep in a screened room. Burn a coil. Use an insect repellent high in DEET. If you know you are headed to a country with a high level of malaria (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Guadalcanal area), start taking anti-malaria drugs two weeks before the trip, and continue it six weeks after the trip.
Reactive – Chills, backaches, headaches, and joint pain are commonly diagnosed as flu back in the states. When correctly diagnosed, it can be cured easily.

Cite for September Posts: Stanley, D., South Pacific Handbook.


Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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