Old scars and sea ulcers

Beagle's picture
Beagle started the topic in Friday, 24 Oct 2014 at 9:45am

Hey folks, I'm sure all of us have (or are currently having) issues with the dreaded sea ulcer. I think the consensus is that you need to be diligent in treating the bastards and perhaps stay out of the water for a while. I've got a couple of old ones on my toes that just keep re-opening, which means that I have to go through the whole rigmarole of sea-ulcer treatment almost constantly these days. The scar tissue just seems to be really fragile. Is this a thing? I remember hearing Joel Selwood from the Cats saying (in defence of Boomer Harvey) that he's a 'serial bleeder' because the cuts above his eyes open up really easily. I guess gaffer tape is always a good solution!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 8:45am

Got the same problem with fragile scar tissue, up to 12 mths for an ulcer to completely heal over .....perfect for 3 or 4 mths and then a knock in just the right spot opens it up again.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:39am

If you can't stay out of the water try and have a shower with soap and water soon after and clean the ulcer as best as possible without trying to irritate it or damage the area further.

Pat it as dry as possible with gauze or kitchen towel and then puff on antiseptic powder. Try and keep it uncovered as much as possible allowing fresh air and sunlight onto it/them. If they are weeping, try to keep them dry and keep re-applying antiseptic powder. Make it a habit.

Gradually (and this can take ages) the skin will grow in from the outside and the ulcer will heal but you need to keep the above routine up. If you have to wear shoes or boots for work, cover with a light breathable gauze. As soon as you can, get your shoes off and try and get the ulcers exposed to dry, fresh air.

I had one the size of a 50 cent coin on my knee and it took months to heal using the above. If anything positive came out of it, it taught me to duckdive using my left knee now equally as well as my right.

But, keep it dry, clean, exposed to air if possible and use antiseptic powder straight after surfing and whenever out of the water.

1173

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:47am

http://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/10566

Old sea ulcer thread from SN.

1173

yocal's picture
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yocal commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 10:12am

I've found that ti-tree oil goes well... the thing about ti-tree oil is it dries the wound quickly, so if youre on a week long surf trip, and apply it after every surf, it gets more drying time.

Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!

salt's picture
salt's picture
salt commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 11:05am

An old crusty fella i know lets his dog lick his sea ulcers, swears by it. He just cracks a beer sits back and let his dog go to town. Heals up in no time apparently, something about the bacteria in a dogs mouth. never tried it myself.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 11:12am

One thing about most common sea ulcer treatment and why the damm things take so long to heal is that antiseptic powder, betadine or what have you make it much harder for new skin cells to colonise and begin to heal the wound.

A different and IMO much better way which is now being used in some hospitals to treat stubborn ulcers and other slow healing wounds is natural honey.

Keep the wound clean with regular bathing with diluted tea tree and then cover and keep the wound covered with honey. Honey is a natural antibiotic but the crucial quality is it enhances the production of new skin cells....so you don't get that continuous crater effect that comes with the betadine or even worse that antibiotic powder.

If you do this, you can keep surfing. Clean the wound out after surfing, dress and keep covered with honey.
http://dermnetnz.org/treatments/honey.html
http://www.woundsinternational.com/practice-development/understanding-ho...
http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-agen...

To repeat: Honey keeps the wound clean, free from infection and enhances wound healing. Don't dry the wound out, keep it wet with honey and covered.

I use dressings and gaff tape the wound when surfing to prevent it getting knocked.

I've tested this many times, most notably in the NWWA desert. Had a skin cancer cut out of my calf. Three inch long wound. Stitches burst when I was out at sea fishing.
Next day, with a gaping three inch wound in my calf I went to the Bluff and camped for a month. Flies, shitt, terrible conditions for open wounds.
Kept wound clean and dressed with honey. Surfed every day including 5/6 hour sessions at Gnaraloo. Wound healed by the time I was back. No infection.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 11:21am

Nice work, free ride.....

Sheepdog

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 11:28am

Great tip Freeride.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 12:16pm

Ah, awesome tip with the honey, had to deal with one through the middle of winter here, all from the tiniest barnacle scrape, super annoying!

roger-ramjet's picture
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roger-ramjet commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 12:57pm

Will be on the honey method as I do the exact same as you freeride except use neosporin antibiotic cream instead of honey. Works well but you have to get it of eBay from the states. Honey should give the same moist healing effect where they don't crust over and heal from the base instead.
Inside big toe on rear foot is real prick of a spot to get one!

seal's picture
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seal commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 1:00pm

You could try the sap from fresh cut Aloe Vera. Worked a treat on a couple of really stubborn ulcers I've had over the years.
You still need to cover the ulcer when you surf but dry it when you get out the water, then cut an Aloe Vera leave and put the sap straight on the wound. Clears them up faster than anything I've tried before such as Betadine or powders.
Can't say I've tried honey, but no doubt that would work too and attract ants and flies as an added bonus!
As a last resort try staying out the water and while you are, get all of your mates to stay out too in sympathy.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 1:00pm

Get onto it early and it won't ulcer out. Make sure you clean it properly to start with, don't leave any little particles of marine organisms or debris in it.

I have other theories on the way an immune system becomes adapted to the local bacterial and other microbial populations. I don't treat my Lennox rock cuts. Just wash them. My immune system is now well adapted to identify and control the local microbial fauna on the rocks here. I've seen others end up in hospital with infected cuts from the local rocks.

It's an interesting field and potentially in the wrong hands an argument for localism.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 1:25pm

Yeah RR, mine just further up from inside back toe, towards the arch more.

Besides the honey stuff, the best way I found to keep it healing was a water proof bandaid, then electrical tape followed by booty.

Booty just stopped the tape and then bandage coming off, as guaranteed no matter how well you did it, after one wave it would be slipping off.

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 1:48pm

We had a yank male nurse on our recent Indo trip and he got some tattoos which he immediately applied honey too and he swore by it's healing powers. First I'd heard of it and up until then I'd always used lime juice, which worked for me, but did take time (to heal) and constant reapplication of lime juice after every surf.

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southey commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 2:26pm

if the scar/ulcer is clean ( ie not infected ) but is struggling heal due to constant wetting .
just apply Golden Seal Root cream after each session . Be liberal with it and put some gauze to stop it wiping off when mobile . It keeps the scar moist and closes it from the inside as opposed to a drying scab healing .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 2:51pm

Don, did the seppo nurse get his tatts in indo ?

Joel Eugene Slater-Burrows's picture
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Joel Eugene Sla... commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 3:33pm

@freeride76, when you say natural honey do you mean raw honey as in not treated/pasteurized or whatever they call it , I've heard of raw honey being used for treating a number of skin conditions/infections but was under the impression it had to be raw e.g. not honey you buy in a tube in the supermarket, or can you use just plain old runny supermarket honey that you put on your toast?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:10pm

Actually I was referring to medicinal honey which you can now buy fit to purpose at the chemist.
Not all honey is the same,........there are differing medicinal properties according to what the bees are feeding on.
The manuka stuff from NZ is what I've been using but I did get a tub of raw honey from a bloke here who had his hives in the tea-tree and reckons it is the ducks nuts for wound healing. Unfortunately I ate it before I could test it.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:12pm

Id get the real deal honey, forgot how it goes but a part time bee keeper did explain it to me and basically there is a huge difference between common off the shelf honey and the real deal honey in regards to all the benefits honey can produce.

Edit: Freeride must have got in just before me.......medical honey, cool freeride knows his honey.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

seal's picture
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seal commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:18pm

Another one we used to use in Indo was stuff called bioplacentum that you used to be able to get at the chemist. It worked really well also.
The lime juice only kills any bacteria and stop infection in the cut but doesn't really protect against ulcers forming IMHO.
The main thing is to try and keep some sort of film on the wound to stop the healing skin from washing out, (keeping the wound dry) so covering it when you surf some how and then letting it dry out when you're not seems to be the best course of action that I have found over the years. Be it waterproof bandaids, tape, plastic skin or whatever the main thing is trying not to let the wound get waterlogged all the time and then drying it out when not in the surf.
Even putting vasoline on the cut then covering it to waterproof it can work if you have nothing else (being careful not to get the vaso on your wax of course and leaving enough to rip the top off it for the flat days(but don't get sand in the vaso if using for that).)
I definitely swear by the fresh Aloe vera though and it is a pretty common plant in most of the areas I've travelled to.

trippergreenfeet's picture
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trippergreenfeet commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:39pm

indo-dreaming wrote: Id get the real deal honey, forgot how it goes but a part time bee keeper did explain it to me and basically there is a huge difference between common off the shelf honey and the real deal honey in regards to all the benefits honey can produce.

Edit: Freeride must have got in just before me.......medical honey, cool freeride knows his honey.

Raw honey is not heat treated and filtered of it's real goodness, that being the pollen. Easy way to tell the difference between real and "fake" honey; real honey is "cloudy" and will crystallise over time, fake honey is "clear" and will stay liquid forever. Creamed honey is whipped raw honey.

I've used honey when available to treat ulcers, but most effective way I've found is using both honey and Aloe Vera patches. Fill the ulcer with honey and then strap a piece of fresh cut aloe over the top, ensuring to cross hatch the aloe flesh to help release extra juice. Of course the old lime/lemon juice treatment ASAP after the initial injury is always a good start.

mk1's picture
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mk1 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:46pm

To stop my wounds becoming sea ulcers I hit them with a hair dryer on low heat (or internal fan in the car) once they are cleaned out of the water (clean, warm and dry as quickly as possible) . Then as seal said apply a smear of vas before subsequent surfs to limit the water uptake in the tissue .

Interesting info on honey for healing, will have to try it.

Salt, I knew one guy who swore by having a dog lick his cuts clean. Ended up in hospital with blood poisoning and nearly dying. Potentially the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:49pm

trippergreenfeet wrote:

I've used honey when available to treat ulcers, but most effective way I've found is using both honey and Aloe Vera patches. Fill the ulcer with honey and then strap a piece of fresh cut aloe over the top, ensuring to cross hatch the aloe flesh to help release extra juice. Of course the old lime/lemon juice treatment ASAP after the initial injury is always a good start.

We have a winner.

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 4:53pm

A dog licking a cut is as smart as Mundine licking his contact lens.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 5:13pm

trippergreenfeet wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote: Id get the real deal honey, forgot how it goes but a part time bee keeper did explain it to me and basically there is a huge difference between common off the shelf honey and the real deal honey in regards to all the benefits honey can produce.

Edit: Freeride must have got in just before me.......medical honey, cool freeride knows his honey.

Raw honey is not heat treated and filtered of it's real goodness, that being the pollen. Easy way to tell the difference between real and "fake" honey; real honey is "cloudy" and will crystallise over time, fake honey is "clear" and will stay liquid forever. Creamed honey is whipped raw honey..

Yeah thats what i was told.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

mk1's picture
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mk1 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 5:18pm

I read somewhere years ago (surf docs?) that a sea ulcer is due to the combination of blood retracting from the area in cold water + water logged flesh. Previously I was treating like an infection and killing the flesh, but getting it clean warm and dry asap after a surf and keeping the water out next time makes all the difference. Can't say I've had a sea ulcer since to be honest.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 5:36pm

The honey thing is cool. I haven't had a sea ulcer in years and when I posted above that was on the advice of a doctor using the clean, dry, powder and repeat method.

If I ever get one of those nasty little bastards again I'm going to go down the honey route. Cheers.

1173

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 6:16pm

Aloe's deffo the goods and great to put on the scar tissue when it's still sore and tender. Seems to really help when you're that far down the track.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 6:23pm

"Rub it kook..."

That's a quote from the movie North Shore before anyone gets unnecessarily offended.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 7:52pm

Blowin wrote: "Rub it kook..."

That's a quote from the movie North Shore before anyone gets unnecessarily offended.

I don't remember that line, what scene?

I do remember after he hit the reef at pipe Kiani took him down the beach and teated his cuts wit some aloe vera .

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 8:53pm

udo wrote: Don, did the seppo nurse get his tatts in indo ?

Yes
Joel Eugene Slater-Burrows's picture
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Joel Eugene Sla... commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:32pm

freeride76 wrote: Actually I was referring to medicinal honey which you can now buy fit to purpose at the chemist.
Not all honey is the same,........there are differing medicinal properties according to what the bees are feeding on.
The manuka stuff from NZ is what I've been using but I did get a tub of raw honey from a bloke here who had his hives in the tea-tree and reckons it is the ducks nuts for wound healing. Unfortunately I ate it before I could test it.

Cheers Freeride

Joel Eugene Slater-Burrows's picture
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Joel Eugene Sla... commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:23pm

indo-dreaming wrote: Id get the real deal honey, forgot how it goes but a part time bee keeper did explain it to me and basically there is a huge difference between common off the shelf honey and the real deal honey in regards to all the benefits honey can produce.

Edit: Freeride must have got in just before me.......medical honey, cool freeride knows his honey.

Cheers Indo

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:51pm

It's got me fucked why Betadine is sold in pharmacies as a wound treatment, it's toxic to cells in open flesh.
In hospitals it's mostly used on skin to kill fauna prior to surgery.
The latest thing in the health industry for healing wounds is what's generally referred to as "wet wound healing"
This is where the wound is covered by a square, or rectangular dressing pad which has an adhesive margin around the outside which seals the dressing to the skin all the way around.
The interesting part is that the body's own immune system does the healing in a sealed environment.
The area under the dressing becomes very wet and mucky looking, quite a bit of pus and looks bad, but after a few days the dressing is removed and the wound heals incredibly fast and isn't inflamed by infection.
My wife gets the dressings from work, but I think they are available in chemists now in various sizes.
Wet wound healing has revolutionised wound care in the health industry, I'm wondering if some of the other methods mentioned above like honey actually work on the same principal and it's not the actual honey doing the healing but the fact that the wound is sealed allowing the immune system to do it's job.

saltyone's picture
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saltyone commented Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 10:11pm

that chinese reef cut oil they sell in indo is pretty damn gd.. herbal stuff, red colour.always healed up my cuts pretty well

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 6:54am

Hey Chin, using honey is definitely part of the wet wound healing method mate. It aids and abets the method you outlined.
But like you mentioned, you've got to keep it sealed and keep it moist.

Difference is, if you are using it when you go surfing in tropical reef environments full of bacteria, you need to change the dressing daily and keep it irrigated with a mild antibiotic like diluted tea-tree.

It's amazing how much better, quicker and without ulceration wounds heal using this method, especially in the tropics where things can go feral in a heartbeat.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 7:00am

btw, I'm sure anyone whos spent time in the tropics has their own nightmare tales but sometimes it's the tiniest nicks that bring people undone.

I was camping with a mate in remote island in the Phillos. He got a midgie bite on his knee. Little red spot that he scratched in the night and opened up ...just a tiny little mark. Surfed and over the next day or three his knee started to swell. Twenty hour mission back to civilisation. Found a western doctor staying at one of the hotels. He opened him up and the whole knee was infected. He tried to clean out the wound and gave him powerful antibiotics. Which didn't work. He flew back to Aus.
Three courses of antibiotics, a stay in hospital where at one point they were talking about amputating the leg. Out of the water for six months. Nasty.

salt's picture
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salt commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 7:10am

udo wrote: A dog licking a cut is as smart as Mundine licking his contact lens.

Like I said I haven't tried it just what an old fella swears by, but (and I am not a micro biologist) but I thought that dog saliva has healing properties of some sort, as it helps the dog kill bad bacteria n food it eats ie stinky old bones etc. if the dog has just licked its arse it may be another story. Anyway the other remedies are obviously a better idea.
mk1's picture
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mk1 commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 11:08am

Salt - you might have missed my comment above:

I knew one guy who swore by having a dog lick his cuts clean. Ended up in hospital with blood poisoning and nearly dying

They need a good antibacterial in their saliva for the amount of shit they eat. You might be right 70% of the time when the dog hasn't eaten anything rotten lately but you are still just playing roulette.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 7:32pm

freeride76 wrote: btw, I'm sure anyone whos spent time in the tropics has their own nightmare tales but sometimes it's the tiniest nicks that bring people undone.

I was camping with a mate in remote island in the Phillos. He got a midgie bite on his knee. Little red spot that he scratched in the night and opened up ...just a tiny little mark. Surfed and over the next day or three his knee started to swell. Twenty hour mission back to civilisation. Found a western doctor staying at one of the hotels. He opened him up and the whole knee was infected. He tried to clean out the wound and gave him powerful antibiotics. Which didn't work. He flew back to Aus.
Three courses of antibiotics, a stay in hospital where at one point they were talking about amputating the leg. Out of the water for six months. Nasty.

Weird you say that because in Indo i never have problems with cuts healing even big reef cuts, but midgie bites can flare up and take ages to heal, also had the very odd boil, never had them in oz, recent trip i got one took weeks to clear and even a few months latter its kinda scarred.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 7:35pm

Sounds like your immune system has developed the defences to deal with the local bacteria. Amazing things immune systems.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 8:34pm

Piss on your feet to toughen the skin. Get less cuts get less ulcers.

reecen's picture
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reecen commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 11:12am

Freeride I am no microbiologist but I am not so sure about the immune system developing resistance to certain bacteria. I think you said you have worked on the cray boats before so you would know about cray poisoning. It is an infection from the same bacteria they get in abattoirs and you are exposed to it all day everyday on the cray boats. You can be fine for years then one day suddenly develop a really serious infection.
I went for a decade thinking I was imune to the cray poisoning bacteria then got a tiny knick in my chin of all places, next thing I looked like the elephant man.
I had the same thing with reef cuts, going for years without infection and then ending up with the red line tracking away from what was initially a very minor scratch.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 12:10pm

yeah, no doubt I;ve over-simplified things and there shitloads more going in than I understand.

It is true though that the immune system develops the ability to detect and fight off common invaders, be they bacterial or viral.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 4:43pm

freeride76 wrote: ... the immune system develops the ability to detect and fight off common invaders, be they bacterial or viral.

Funny, isn't that it's job?

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

caml's picture
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caml commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 5:56pm

Theres no need to stay out of the ocean just becos u have lost skin . Watever u do keep surfing and heal while u sleep

inzider's picture
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inzider commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 7:22pm

After 25 years of losing bark to concrete and then surfing on all sorts of wounds I can offer this advice,
Diluted tee tree for natural antiseptic on wound, raw oil is too gnarly for flesh, dilute that shit.
There is a product called second skin, you can get from the chemist, you can buy little squares for mega bucks or you can buy it by the metre which is the go.
Once you have wound clean and dry, cover with second skin, then seal the edges shut with strapping tape that footy players use, this just makes the second skin bullet proof, waterproof, to the rigours of
surfing or pulling on a steamer,
Leave on for several days before replacing second skin , let that wound be moist, a dry scab takes 3 times as long to heal and scars way worse,
Once skin has sealed over wound make sure you suncreeen that new skin and apply aloe vera regularly. No need to live with ulcers or stop surfing.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 9:50pm

Great advice inz, that and the honey.

Good thread people.

1173

caml's picture
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caml commented Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 11:03pm

Yeah the elastoplast type material tape will stick on for weeks . Just repair & surf on .

seal's picture
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seal commented Friday, 31 Oct 2014 at 6:33am

Make sure you are not allergic to the glue on elastoplast if you leave it on for some time.
I found out I was the hard way and ended up with more of a mess than the cut that I covered caused!