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Latex allergy

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by tracydr, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,685
    731
    113
    I have developed a latex allergy, an occupational health hazard as a doctor. I get a rash really bad when I dive. I am thinking about taking the plunge and going for a drysuit since we are talking about diving either Baja or San Diego this December. First of all, are there any latex free suits of any type? I'm thinking a lycra skin might help, just bought one but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I assume a drysuit would be better since I can wear some form of undergarment even in warm water so that it's not touching my skin. Any suggestions? The other thing, what the heck do you do when you have to pee underwater in a dry suit? Does anyone else worry about this except me?
     
  2. roakey

    roakey Old, not bold diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    3,545
    11
    0
    Only the neck and wrist seals are latex, so an undergarment won't help there, unless you want to leak like a sieve.

    A neoprene suit typically (but not always) has a neoprene neck seal, so that’ll solve your neck problem, but the cuffs are typically still latex (someone help me out here, I have a shell suit) so the problem still exists around your wrists.

    Given the androgynous name “Tracy” I don’t know how to answer your pee question. If female, you typically only have the adult diaper route to go (no pun intended). If male, you can get a P-Valve. See: http://www.extreme-exposure.com/acc/dryaccessories.shtml.

    Roak
     
  3. BillP

    BillP Senior Member

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  4. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,685
    731
    113
    Thanks everyone. By the way, I'm female, hope I don't have to resort to the adult diaper. I remember seeing a thread on this a long time ago on the women's forum,will have to go look for it.
    I think I could handle a rash on my wrists if it's just not the whole body. I have an older wetsuit and it must have some latex in it, does neoprene have latex? I know a lot of different types of rubber does.
     
  5. SubMariner

    SubMariner C'est Moi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A Canuck Conch
    6,688
    74
    48
    Sorry to hear about your alergy, T!

    Most drysuit manufacturers offer the option of latex OR neoprene seals. So I'm sure you can get a suit to your liking.

    For example, we have DUI trilams and opted for neoprene on both of them.

    Good luck!

    ~SubMariner~
     
  6. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,685
    731
    113
    Thanks, I think I'm leaning toward the shell type. Any recs? Can I learn to use it on my own or do I really need a class? Our local dive shop wants $200 for a dry suit class. That seems a little steep.
     
  7. donooo

    donooo Instructor, Scuba

    499
    0
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    Hi Tracy, I did a Dry Suit class for $130, included Dry Suit rental, class session, pool session and two dives. I think that was worth $130, so I guess I'd look a little harder. Also some of the manufactures have dealer days where you can try the suits out and a dive master/instructor goes out with you. I don't know that you "need" a class, but if you tie it together with rentals/dives/expeirence it can be worth while. Also lots of shops will throw in a "free or cheap" class with a Dry Suit purchase.

    good luck don O
     
  8. WetDane

    WetDane Manta Ray

    530
    1
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    Hey Tracy,

    $200 for a drysuit class is preposterous, I had the option of paying $50 and getting the sticker in the log book or not paying and getting no sticker... I didn't pay at all... If you buy a suit - you should get the class - it is not rocketscience, but there are tricks and things - ask them if they want you to wear ankle weights - it is a typical sign of people who have not bothered to learn how to use their suit... (IHMO).

    As far as the Latex goes - the seals are going to have it - the only way to get around it (I have a friend who has that precise problem), is to use a neoprene that is latex free - this is a little harder to find - but I believe that Diving concepts use a blown neoprene that is latex free. However, you should get this verified by your shop and make sure they ask the question properly - "we think so" is not a sufficient answer.
    Also, keep in mind that htere are rubber parts in your regulator and that you may want to have that equipment tested. YOu should ask your doctor about this - the last thing you want is a latex particle in your throat at 100 fsw...

    If you want more data I know a shop that has catered to this need in the past and have done a lot of research as far as what suits and what equipment is safe.
    If you want more info - drop me a private message and I'll send the shop data to you.

    Big T
     
  9. SubMariner

    SubMariner C'est Moi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A Canuck Conch
    6,688
    74
    48
    What make of shell? A toughie! There are many good manufacturers out there. Pearce & I both have DUI custom trilams with Rock Boots. Although this isn't my 1st drysuit, this is my first DUI (Pearce's 2nd; his other was a DUI CF200) and I really like it.

    As for training: get it! I don't care what agency it's from as long as you get good training from an Instructor who is experienced and well versed in the Specialty.

    A drysuit is NOT just another passive piece of dive equipment like a pair of fins. People can (and do) get seriously injured because they don't know how to use it safely or effectively.

    Good training includes things like confined water sessions, proper weighting, bouyancy control (trust me it IS different in a drysuit), etc.

    So by all means shop around for a good Instructor. But DO take the course!

    ~SubMariner~
     
  10. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,685
    731
    113
    Thanks, I was hoping to buy a dry suit on line or even used. My shop gives the class free if you buy the suit through him but he only offers and recommends the neoprene style. Maybe if I go somewhere with more dry suit diving I can find a better price and more choices. I don't mind paying but I think this shop's classes are all priced too high. Unfortunately, not a lot real close to me so I do most of my dive stuff there. He has made me some good deals on trade ins so he's not all bad either. I never thought of my regulator having rubber. I better check that. When I had my surgery they had to use a special tube for my breathing because the normal one is latex, plus a lot of other OR equipment is latex too so that was fun. I would not want to have an allergic reaction in my airway, even if it is delayed until after I get out of the water!! I think I better start bringing an epinephrine shot along with my benedryl for diving, didn't realize how many things had latex!
     

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