windgirls.com goes medical: Tatiana Howard (DaKine/Naish) has tips for healing your reef rash, too.
The wall of white wash that broke just a second in front of me picks me up and throws me down. I am pinned under my sail and am dragged across the reef. As I come up for air, I cringe as the wind stings my freshly opened reef rash. Not knowing very much about First Aid or the best kind of products to use, I have done some research using both conventional and natural remedies. Here is what I have learned that could be useful for you too:
First off, don't panic and don't let the reaction of people freak you out! At first I felt a little scared, but when I got on shore with the combination of reactions and seeing blood I started to freak out a little. I had to remind myself to stay calm. Next, I learned to always have some first aid stuff ready in your car. Your kit may include the following:
Once at home I used some other remedies to help speed up the healing process and reduce scarring. Most of these products were recommended by Matthew Hammond, 27 years experience with Chinese Medicine, Western Herbology.
Also, try stay out of the ocean until the wound closes to prevent infection and keep the sun off your new healing skin. Rash guards are perfect for reducing sun exposure and they protect your skin if you ever hit the reef or your equipment again. Only if I had worn one that day! Live and learn I guess. Well, there's my first hand experience reef rash advice so take what you can to make your sailing fun and safe!
text: Tatiana Howard, photo: JDPhotofairy © windgirls 2007