Island Injuries

This compilation is a free public service we are happy to provide. It is not a substitute for proper medical care. If you encounter any of the following island injuries, we can help.



Wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent damage from UV rays. Also, avoid too much sun exposure, especially early on during a vacation.

To treat a burn, take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen to help relieve pain and inflammation. You can also place a cold, wet washcloth on the burnt skin and/or aloe vera to provide temporary relief. Drink plenty of water as well since fluid loss increases with inflamed skin.

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swimmer’s ear

This happens after water remains inside the ear for too long and creates an environment that breeds bacteria. Pouring a little rubbing alcohol into each ear after swimming helps reduce the chances of infection and pain. The alcohol mixes with the water and causes it to evaporate quickly.


Sea urchin (wana)

All too often, visitors end up stepping on these reef sea creatures whose spines break off and can cause painful puncture wounds. Dr. Burris advises patients to soak the affected area in a warm water and vinegar solution several times a day until the spines dissolve. He recommends not trying to pull out the spine as they are brittle and can break off into tiny pieces. If any signs of infection like increased pain, swelling, redness, or drainage occurs, immediate medical attention is required.

Sea urchin spines are made of calcium carbonate, the same substance that precipitates out of water and affects your drip coffeemaker and the same substance an egg shell is made of. Vinegar dissolves calcium carbonate.

heat exhaustion

Drink plenty of water and reduce alcohol intake in order to prevent heat exhaustion during your vacation. Additionally, wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid prolonged strenuous activity in the heat. You should always bring plenty of water with you while hiking, regardless of how long or strenuous the trail. If you feel nausea, headache, or weakness, find a cool environment to relieve your body from the strain. We do offer IV Hydration which can quickly relieve heat exhaustion symptoms.


This is brought about most often when visitors take boat trips and encounter rocky, choppy seas. To reduce the feeling of nausea, look out at the horizon and not down at the water. Face forward in the direction of travel, and not backward. If you have access to fresh ginger root, it works wonders for nausea. Above all, do not go below deck as this will make matters worse. If you are prone to develop seasickness, take Meclizine 25 mg tablets that are available over the counter prior to any boat trip.