FINCA TATIN, Jungle near Livingston, Guatemala- Traveling in extreme climates often means taking additional measures to insure health. The jungle is an extreme climate. There are illnesses here that do not exist in other regions — insects, poisonous serpents, spiders, things that bite, and bacteria that travelers from other climes have little resistance to. Though the organ that I have found to need the most care in the jungle is the body’s largest: the skin.
You must care for your skin in the jungle.
The air is moist here, humidity is regularly at 100%. The rain falls daily. You can easily find yourself wet and sopping a half dozen times a day. You can easily find yourself growing fungus, erecting spots, or having some other adverse reaction to the excessive moisture and the microorganisms that thrive on it.
The finca owner’s son has some odd sort of fungus living on his knee.
My baby Petra broke out in both a heat rash and spots from an allergic reaction to something.
My wife has an odd black sub-dermal growth on her back.
The tops of my legs became extremely chaffed to the point of bleeding and leaving me idle from repeated bouts of swimming, drip drying, sweating, — having semi-damp skin throughout the day.
Though skin problems in the jungle are not only reserved for travelers. From talking to the doctors at a medical clinic down the river from where I am staying, the most common ailment that they see are skin problems. And some of the hides that are brought into them seem, from a medical point of view, rather interesting.
How to care for skin in the jungle
“After reading some skin care tutorials and reviews, the best way that I have found to care for the skin in the jungle is to clean it often and keep it dry. I keep a towel near me throughout the day. After getting wet, I dry off immediately. I wash the sweat off my body throughout the day in the shower. I often bathe three times a day not counting swims in the river, I keep my skin clean as a first rule to living in this climate. At the first hint of sweat, moisture, stickiness, I rinse off and dry with a towel. I wash with soap once a day.
I realized early on in this stay that I must treat the skin as though it is an organ that can become ill, for in the jungle it truly is.