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Old 07-09-2016, 07:15   #1
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Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Question for all the experienced cruisers out there. My wife and I have been cruising the Leeward Islands for the past couple months, living aboard full time. We have both developed skin conditions but of two different kinds it seems.

I itch all over but mainly in the area of my butt and thighs. However, I have no visible bumps, pimples, or rash to speak of. I figure in my case it's related to salt water immersion as I swim every day. I try to change out of my wet shorts ASAP. I also try to rinse down with fresh water on the swim platform. A stiff bristled hair brush is my main source of relief right now.

My wife, OTOH, has pimples that look like mosquito bites on her hips and legs that are also itchy (although only periodically when they first appear, whereas I'm pretty much always itchy). There are no mosquitos around though so we're also thinking salt water related.

Any tips or advice from some salty sea dogs out there that could provide us with some relief?

Sincerely,

Itchy and Scratchy

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Old 07-09-2016, 07:21   #2
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Watch out for all plants - I am currently swollen up with a rash from stinging nettle, which I touched while getting out of a car.

Obviously mosquitos are everywhere, although I found none while out on mooring in St. Martin, first time in years I was able to sleep without being cocooned in a sheet.

Try not to get wet in the lagoon, it's a cesspool of sewage with high levels of bottom paint.

If you are using sunscreen, stop and see if it goes away. I had to stop all sunscreen as I broke out in a rash from it. I work outside so I am always putting it on, and it caused a rash.

Pineapples can cause this also.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:24   #3
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

do not sit for any length of time in a wet bathing suit.
there are things in salt water that actually live. these things can make reactions on your skin.
there is plenty of stuff in sea water that is not pollution that can irritate the skin. i learned this at an early age swimming in great south bay, long island. oops.
best of luck figuring out what the issue is and treating it.
itchy and scratchy . gotta love it. but it hurts and disrupts sleep. makes cocktail hour a bit squirmy...
benadryl doesnt work in keeping the reaction at bay?
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:36   #4
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Your condition sounds like larval jellyfish. It's only around your covered areas and you swim in the ocean?

My only tips:

1. Stay out of the water for a week so the skin calms down.
2. Hydrocortisone and minimize sun exposure
3. wash your trunks in diluted vinegar, the larval gets in the trunks and even dead keeps irritating your in with the toxins.

Once you're healed up and ready to swim again - go nude, get speedos, or if you must have trunks, don't rinse off in them, take them off immediately after swimming and rinse off with salt water first. The jellyfish stings when exposed to freshwater.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:51   #5
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAdder View Post
the experienced cruisers out there.
Thatís a dangerous post my friend.
Lets start with this.

I relieve the sensation of itch by the sensation of heat.
What you need is a shower hand that can supply warm to hot water, the water must be self-administered to prevent burns.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:58   #6
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

By experience be careful with cortisone it can cause rash.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:03   #7
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Buy a small pot of coconut oil.. add 1heaped teaspoon of Tumeric and mix well.. leave it for a day for the Tumeric to leech well into the oil. Before you go for a swim rub some all over your body then dive in.. as you swim the Tumeric should dilute enough to not stain your towel.. but no certainties so best use an old towel.. the yellow stain it leaves is near impossible to remove. The oil will remain in a thin film.
Same applies to the pimples/spots.. apply to the area and leave for half hour before rinsing off.
Works for this blue eyed fair skinned guy
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:32   #8
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

I had the same condition this last season in Mexico. The doctor said it was a bacterial infection caused by my pores being opened up by the heat then "stuff" getting in there and getting infected. In the end I started bathing using anit-bacterial dish soap and didn't have any other issues.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:34   #9
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

What boatman61 says. Also 1% Hydrocortisone. From personal experience, the best is Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream, at lest 0.1% (Rx in US, other countries, not so much).
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:40   #10
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

I have had good luck using Head and Shoulders shampoo. I use just like soap, over my entire body. On a few occasions with bad rash, I have put on full strength from the bottle, let set for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:57   #11
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

I had the same thing happen years ago in the Cook Islands. Doctor diagnosed it right away; "Are you using the locally made soap?"
Doh!
I never was that bright.

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Old 07-09-2016, 09:03   #12
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Buy a small pot of coconut oil.. add 1heaped teaspoon of Tumeric and mix well.. leave it for a day for the Tumeric to leech well into the oil. Before you go for a swim rub some all over your body then dive in.. as you swim the Tumeric should dilute enough to not stain your towel.. but no certainties so best use an old towel.. the yellow stain it leaves is near impossible to remove. The oil will remain in a thin film.
Same applies to the pimples/spots.. apply to the area and leave for half hour before rinsing off.
Works for this blue eyed fair skinned guy
Oh boatie, please post this to the coconut oil thread! Perfect!
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:03   #13
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Insider joke from the trade (Internal Medicine )
If it is dry, wet it=> moisturizer
if it is wet, dry it => powder
if it does not get better +> try steroid cream for effect
if it does not get better and you are not using any new products in the wash (contact dermatitis) => see the dermatologist
That being said....
persistent itch around the the anus and thighs could be related to the suit
I can't disagree with s/v DestinyAscend cause I have no experience yet with larval jelly fish, but washing the suit in diluted bleach should kill the buggers as well as any bacteria from the water. The other possibility is fungal infection from constant dampness: might try spray on jock spray / powder / cream as a trial.
In the case of the pimples: infected hair follicles often follow shaving of the legs or it could be sun poisioning. Best to wash with anti bacterial soap like hibiclens or betadiene after washing with unscented soap. check to see if this started around the time you went shopping and bought new soap products or moved to a new location.
There are a specific set of bacteria associated with cuts in salt water which can cause cellulitis. That require medical treatment if it turns into an expanding cellulitis.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:12   #14
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

Yep. We got into trouble a couple of times. Even without socializing ashore ...

We got dry skin patches with dry material unwilling to leave the hair pockets. Felt like sandpaper skin. Back to normal once out of tropics.

I got very bad dermatitis while offshore sailing the Indian. I tried various drugs none of them worked.

A sailing doc in Durban had one look and told me to wipe with vinegar ten times a day. This worked.

If you get dermatitis, stop drinking coffee immediately. Stop drinking alcohol too.

You sweat and excessive sweat removes your skin's natural ph. Boom! And you get dermatitis.

Love,
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:17   #15
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Re: Skin Conditions - Pimples, Rashes and Itches

I think this is a must read for anyone in the Central / South / Southern States area:

PAHO WHO | Argentine research published in PAHO scientific journal offers recommendations for monitoring and control of leishmaniasis

Not much discussed but apparently pretty common and hard to treat. Beware.

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