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tracydr
October 14th, 2001, 12:54 AM
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?

roakey
October 14th, 2001, 01:40 AM
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

BillP
October 14th, 2001, 08:26 AM
Hi tracydr:

DocV helped with a similar question at:

http://www.scubaboard.com/t1274/s.html

Answers are difficult, but sounds like you're on the right track.

HTH,

Bill

tracydr
October 14th, 2001, 01:05 PM
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.

SubMariner
October 14th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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~

tracydr
October 15th, 2001, 10:28 PM
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.

donooo
October 16th, 2001, 10:22 AM
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

WetDane
October 16th, 2001, 11:29 AM
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

SubMariner
October 16th, 2001, 12:15 PM
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~

tracydr
October 17th, 2001, 11:47 PM
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!

detroit diver
October 18th, 2001, 12:08 AM
I use a Bare Trilam and love it. You can get it with either latex or neoprene seals, but I'm not sure of the latex content in the neoprene.

It's self donning, and has a system called ATR (automatic torso recoil) to take up slack.

Let me tell you about the first day that I went diving with this drysuit. I thought I was hot s**t before this dive. We went in a small local pond ( the one with the jellyfish if joewr is around) and I saw the surface at least 4 times more than I had planned on! My son had a great time laughing at me floating upside down when the air got into my boots! Not to mention when I got anywhere above 20 ft, I just kept going to the top.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that you should DEFINATELY take some lessons. There are some quirks when diving dry. A good instructor will be able to get you thru many of them without too much frustration. It does get better on every dive, and I'm glad I did some shallow depths for my first dives.

Let us know how you make out.

WetDane
October 18th, 2001, 10:54 AM
Hey Tracy,

Another thing to consider is if you ever go to the coast - like WA or CA - ALL dive shops up here stocks at least a couple of difgferent lines of dry suits - neoprene and trilam... Many shops in will have demo days where you will have the option to try out different suits - see the fit of off the rack suits and talk to reps who knows what custom will do for you...

And really - you should have a shop guy take your regulator setup apart and show you all the rubber in there - I think the hoses might have latex too??? There is a lot to think of with that issue.

Big T

rcontrera
October 18th, 2001, 08:14 PM
<B>(Edited to bring this up to date with our current manufacturing standards)<B>
The majority of people that suffer from latex allergies are only allergic to natural latex ... the stuff that they make medical gloves and surgical tubing out of. We (OS Systems) use some stuff that is triple leached to remove proteins (the component that is thought to give the reaction).

While I can't say that you definitely won't have a reaction to our stuff, many people that do have the same problem have told us that they had no reactions. You may want to try wearing a wrist seal for a couple of hours and see if you get a reaction. Any dive shop can order OS Systems seals for you to try and they may even lend you one if it means that they may make a drysuit sale.

Just an idea!

Ray
http://www.ossystems.com

tracydr
October 18th, 2001, 11:12 PM
I got a reaction from my wetsuit also, but it's very old so who knows what it's made of. Trying out a wetsuit is a great idea, I will try to do that next time I go somewhere like San Diego. Are there any good books on using the suit too?

WetDane
October 18th, 2001, 11:57 PM
Keep in mind that most all the neoprene out ther is made with latex of some sort. If you go to San Diego there is a shop - I forget the name, but I will find it for you.

Big T

donooo
October 19th, 2001, 09:59 AM
Try Ocean Enterprises in SD. Most to offer on display I've seen in that area. Get a manager to talk to though, watch out for the "clerks". Also maybe Ocean Planet in Tempe, I think I remember a supply there as they like to dive out of Catalina. In fact most of the dive shops in Tucson/ Phoenix sell something, just may not have the price or experience.

adios don O

DivingDoc
July 17th, 2002, 01:06 AM
There IS such a thing as latex-free neoprene, I just don't know if there are any wetsuit companies that use it. See the following link:

http://www.allheart.com/welallatneop.html

What type of reaction do you get to the latex? Is it an immediate urticarial-type reaction or is it a more eczematous delayed (2-3 days) hypersensitivity type reaction?

If the former, it MIGHT help to simply premedicate with Zyrtec or Allegra and then make sure you rinse off as soon as you can after diving. If the latter, there is a cream called Ivy block which might work. it is meant to be applied before going out in the woods to prevent the Rhus protein from the Poison Ivy plants from penetrating through to your skin. Not sure if it would work in the water -- would probably depend upon the amount of water that pumped in and out of your wet suit.

Another possibility for the latter problem would be to coat yourself with a mild steroid ointment such as Elocon ointment prior to donning the wetsuit.

Best, of course, would be to avoid the latex if you can.

tracydr
August 4th, 2002, 02:08 PM
Thank you. I usually break out the next day but it is a red,vesicular rash. Not urticarial. I do take an antihistamine before diving (allegra) so that my account for no more immediate reaction. So far I'm not terribly allergic, only had an all over breakout once. If I wear latex gloves more than an hour working I break out. If I wash immediately after it does help. I have never heard of the ivy block but will give it a try. The elocon idea is excellent too. I usually use the steroid after the fact, never tried it as a preventative. I will look at the latex free wetsuits. Do they make dry suits too? :doctor:

jepuskar
August 16th, 2002, 12:53 PM
I am really trying hard not to go somewhere with this...really I am. Ok, I'll be good!

;)

tracydr
August 16th, 2002, 10:30 PM
I'm confused, please elaborate on that last post!:confused:

kazinvan
September 27th, 2005, 07:04 PM
Decided to bring back this ancient thread rather than start my own. See, I can search :)

I'm getting the same problem now. I did about 40 dives with latex seals (wrist and neck) with no problems but on the last three dives I got a red ring around my neck. I don't get a reaction on my wrists. I'm not sure what is causing it, anyone have updates on how they solved the problem? It's not much fun.

I don't *think* I'm allergic to latex. It's also strange that I had a bunch of dives with no problems then the last few I developed the rash. Could talc be the problem? Should I wash the seal before I dive?

Kevrumbo
September 28th, 2005, 12:09 AM
. . .
I don't *think* I'm allergic to latex. It's also strange that I had a bunch of dives with no problems then the last few I developed the rash. Could talc be the problem? Should I wash the seal before I dive?
From George Irvine on another Scuba Group List:
"I have myself had the hangman's neck thing, and I have no allergy and as everyone knows, no sensitivity[ :05: ]. My suits are perfectly cut and the seals changed on a regular basis. I think the neck ring is a skin bend. I notice that the people who are claiming it . . . are mostly cold water divers. In our Florida cave diving, the water is not that cold, but cold enough that when doing a long dive one could get shunting of circulation away from the extremities to the extent that something like a neck seal would be enough to cause a skin bend in the latter stages of a decompression. If the gas gets in early in the dive, but the diver gets cold later, the reduction in blood flow to the extremities could result in those areas not being able to offgass properly. . .
. . .This kind of bend can be exasperated by an improper ascent from the deeper parts of the dive. Cold and lack of deep stops seem to be the two contributing factors to skin bends. As far as what you put on the seals, I only use the talc since any lubricant can get into the fabric and make it very difficult to get a new seal to hold properly - if the fabric has lubricant in it, when you go to replace the seal you will not be able to get the kind of bond you need to ensure that the seal does not break off. . ."

USIA
September 28th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Decided to bring back this ancient thread rather than start my own. See, I can search :)

I'm getting the same problem now. I did about 40 dives with latex seals (wrist and neck) with no problems but on the last three dives I got a red ring around my neck. I don't get a reaction on my wrists. I'm not sure what is causing it, anyone have updates on how they solved the problem? It's not much fun.

I don't *think* I'm allergic to latex. It's also strange that I had a bunch of dives with no problems then the last few I developed the rash. Could talc be the problem? Should I wash the seal before I dive?
The only thing I use on my seals is Talc, so I really don't think that is causing your rash. It is not un-heard of for people to develop an allergy later on. Neoprene is always an option, though I have never had great luck with Neoprene. Also, the Apollo Bio Seal is an option that many of my customers have used with great success.

rjchandler
September 28th, 2005, 12:28 PM
You might just have some crud on the seal.

kazinvan
September 30th, 2005, 07:40 PM
It's all rather confusing, compounded by the fact that I'm still renting the suit. I tried a few neoprene seals in the past, but they leaked so I'm not in a hurry to go back.

scubaSteveAU
September 30th, 2005, 10:49 PM
It's all rather confusing, compounded by the fact that I'm still renting the suit. I tried a few neoprene seals in the past, but they leaked so I'm not in a hurry to go back.

There seems to be a few threads covering this, and incidentaly it is the topic that lead to me joining SCUBA boards! I am a relatively new dry suit diver but have been diving for some time otherwise.
I get the rash, I'd almost call it a burn, right on the point of my adams apple, it seems to be friction from the latex, as I have no allergy's and the wrists don't "chafe" because the sleeve can turn with the wrist and doesn't rub. The shoulders (being bigger) anchor my suit and when I turn my head the kneck of the suit stays still...
I'm hanging in there but am thinking about a neoprene kneck seal next winter.
One forum here mentioned that if the rubber gets a bit old it can get sticky spots, so that's worth looking at too. Mine looks ok but still bites.
The main thing for guys is to decide to shave before diving or let your kneck hair grow for at least 4 days, I think it's like cyclists shave their legs, if they hit the tarmac they get grazed at the point of impact but don't have the hair pulling the skin off in big sheets.
So... My suggestion SHAVE and perhaps smear some water based lube on your kneck, you'll find it where ever you buy condoms, pharmacy, or supermarket. Get over any embaresment quickly, make a joke of it yourself before others do! :)
Let me know how you go!?

kazinvan
October 2nd, 2005, 03:40 AM
Thanks for the tips, next time I'll try shaving the morning of the dive to see if that helps. My dive buddy uses KY already to get his wrists through the neoprene seals, so it won't be a big deal if I put some on my neck.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Yet
October 11th, 2008, 01:19 PM
About pee question: John Sampson from GUE gave a cavern/cave dive lecture the other night. Mentioned that a female pee 'conector' has been invented that works quite well. He said that two Norweigan? gals came up with it. He said that his dive partner (Karen) uses it.

SteveAD
October 11th, 2008, 01:33 PM
About pee question: John Sampson from GUE gave a cavern/cave dive lecture the other night. Mentioned that a female pee 'conector' has been invented that works quite well. He said that two Norweigan? gals came up with it. He said that his dive partner (Karen) uses it.

it is called the she-P

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