right photo: JDPhotofairy
REEF Rash*

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:

1. Betadine to clean and sterilize fresh wounds.
2. Anti-triple ointment to kill bacteria.
3. Sterile gauze and bandage to wrap.

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.

1.Tieh Ta Yao Gin: Cleaning with this daily will help keep wounds free from infections.
2. A recipe to help heal and reduce scarring: 4 parts Vitamin E oil with 1 part Camphor Oil with 2-3 drops of "Cell Food” applied 2 times a day.
3. Aloe Vera is a helpful natural remedy and is easy to grow in your own back yard.

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!

How to Avoid Reef Rash

Equip Reef Rash Pack 
Wikipedia-Definition for Reef Rash: "It's common to describe even serious injuries caused by a reef as "reef rash", as a form of humorous understatement." :-)



text: Tatiana Howard, photo: JDPhotofairy   windgirls 2007