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Appendix A

Table of Contents

APPENDIX A

HEADQUARTERS

UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM

APO San Francisco 96375 REGULATION

10 January 1968

NUMBER 40-29

MEDICAL SERVICE

Prevention of Skin Disease Among Troops

Operating in Inundated Areas

1. PURPOSE: To outline policy and procedures for the prevention of disabling skin conditions, which may occur when troops are required to conduct field operations in flooded rice paddies and other inundated areas.

2. SCOPE: This regulation is applicable to all units assigned or attached to this command.

3. GENERAL: Fungus infection of the foot is probably the most common skin disease causing disability among troops in RVN. The common athlete's foot with involvement of the toe webs and soles of the feet does not occur frequently in Vietnam; or if it does, it is relatively mild. The most severely affected areas have been the top of the feet and legs under the boots, the groin, and the buttocks. The lesions often spread to produce bright red rings which may run together. Although not so common, immersion foot is also a potential hazard.

4. RESPONSIBILITIES: Commanders are responsible for implementing measures outlined below when, in their opinion and upon the advice of their Surgeon, they are considered necessary and practical.

5. PREVENTIVE MEASURES: a. Limiting the duration of operations in watery terrain. The tactical situation permitting, a 48-hour limit (2 days and 2 nights) should be placed on operations involving continuous exposure to water. If this is not possible, casualties from fungus infection may be disabled for 2 or more days after a five-day operation.

b. Proper care of the feet.

    (1) One of the most important measures is to insist that troops wear boots and socks only when necessary while in base camps. Shower clogs or thongs are recommended as substitutes.

    (2) During operations, commanders should have a few men at a time remove their footgear and allow their feet to dry as the tactical situation permits.

    (3) Dry socks should be included in resupply missions in the field whenever possible. Mesh socks are preferred.

c. Exposure of the skin to the sun.

    (1) Where possible, exposure of as much of the body as possible to the sun for 30 minutes every day is recommended. To avoid sunburn, new arrivals should be gradually exposed for short periods of time until a protective tan develops.

    (2) In base camps during daylight hours when mosquitoes are not a problem, troops should be allowed to wear abbreviated clothing such as shorts. This should be limited to those troops whose operational mission predisposes them to skin disease.

d. Cleansing of the skin.


This Regulation supersedes USARV Reg 40-29, 25 Jan 66.


150

    (1) As soon as troops return from an operation, they should remove dirty clothing and shower immediately. It appears that showering in potable water will reduce the incidence of skin diseases. However, showers using nonpotable water are preferable to no showers.

    (2) The use of antibacterial (germicidal) soaps should be encouraged. Any of the nationally advertised brands are acceptable.

e. Laundering field clothing. Field clothing should be washed in potable water. Quartermaster or modern contract laundries are preferred. Starching of field clothing reduces ventilation, and is not recommended for troops in active combat operations or other strenuous physical activities.

f. Underclothing. Troops should be discouraged, but not prohibited, from wearing underclothes while on operations in the field. Underclothes reduce ventilation of the skin.

(AVHSU-PM)

    FOR THE COMMANDER:

                                                                                                                            ROBERT C. TABER

                                                                                                                            Brigadier General, US Army

                                                                                                                            Chief of Staff

WILLIAM H. JAMES

Colonel, AGC

Adjutant General