View Full Version : Skin Bends
12-04-2004, 11:15 PM
I was in a dive shop a couple weeks ago talking to one of the techie cave divers about how cold it was getting. I mentioned the 'splash of hot water into the wetsuit before the dive' trick and he got real serious saying it was a bad idea b/c something about the change in temp or something like that caused you to get the "skin bends". He told me how it would look like a rash if you had it. I got to thinking and I remembered several times last winter where I would come home and have a wierd rash on my stomach. I had always figured that it was because I never cleaned my wetsuit and there was some funky bacteria living inside it but now maybe it was the 'skin bends' thing. Any of you instructors or knowledgeable guys know much about this? If so what are the skin bends, can they hurt me, and if so what do I need to do to not ge them anymore.
12-05-2004, 12:04 AM
never herd of skin bends, but divers pee in wet siuts all the time ,hot temp change right
12-06-2004, 08:30 AM
A skin rash is one possible symptom of a milder type of DCS.
Some things to avoid during or after dives, especially serious dives or strings of them:
Hot showers; warm is all that is comfortable when pored into a suit anyway.
More than mild alcohol consumption.
Seahorse might have identified your other cause. Peeing in your suit and wearing it all day. Sometimes called "monkey butt!"
12-06-2004, 08:55 AM
I've heard that hot water has an opposite effect anyhow when put into your wetsuit prior to the dive. It puts your body into 'cooling mode'. Luke warm is all that is necessary.
12-06-2004, 10:01 AM
So may I ask this....
A lot of times last winter, before leaving the dock, I would kick the hot-tub on and then when I came back from diving, I would jump in and warm up. Is this a bad idea? Can this cause me to get bent?
12-06-2004, 10:34 AM
Tech divers think too much and take too many classes. All i know is that hot water in your wet suit is worth a rash any day. In Jan. you can auction off a gallon of hot water for like $100. Those tech divers will try to scare you, according to them any thing can get you bent.
12-06-2004, 03:02 PM
I did my open water cert in a MN quarry that was 60ft deep and 42 degrees F. The instructor carted a large cooler of warm water half a mile to the quarry every day, so at least in his opinon it was not only safe, but worth dragging around in the park like that.
There was a thermocline 30ft down that was about 6 ft thick, at different levels in it there was various types of silt floating. It was like diving in the rings of saturn, and about as cold. It was colder than 42 under that thermocline....
from the sea
12-06-2004, 03:25 PM
42 under that thermocline...............holy shjt thats fukn coooolllllddd.......
12-06-2004, 05:49 PM
You went on a certification dive in 42 degree water.... Why would you ever have continued to dive after that? You probabally still have to squat to take a piss. I would need to take a bath in 105 degree bong water to get over that male uninhancement dive.:(
12-07-2004, 10:06 AM
A close friend of mine did 4 back to back dives in 60 feet w/little S.I.T. The water was cold and when he finally finished diving, he took a hot shower on the boat. He got skin bent, the rash (he tells me) itched and burned like hell.
Bends is bends folks. I know that's a tautology, but my point is that ANY case of the bends is bad. Skin bends still causes gas bubbles in direct contact with your blood which causes clotting, which is potentially disasterous. Sure, some bends are worse than other bends, but why mess with it at all?
I no longer pour hot water into my wetsuit to warm up. I dry off and cover up my wetsuit with my foul weather gear. That gets me warm enough fast enough. And, no bends risk.
12-07-2004, 10:31 AM
there's no reason to dive in the winter months anyway.... the fish over here on the west side of the gulf are so cold and lethargic you can just put your stringer right through their gills without them moving. what's the sport in that? :)
12-07-2004, 02:11 PM
>Why would you ever have continued to dive after that?
I didn't dive in that quarry anymore in april, but when I first dove California, it seemed downright balmy in monterey and fort bragg.
12-13-2004, 05:13 AM
Bottomnout is right...use hot water every chance you get.....
12-13-2004, 11:56 AM
DCI Type I = Symptoms: Skin and joint pain. Less serious.
DCI Type II = Symptoms: Resperatory, central nervous & periferal nervous systems affected. Serious.
Type I can progress to type II.
Dive smart and be careful out there!
12-13-2004, 01:06 PM
Type II sucks. After my hit the Doc told me to take only luke warm showers.Something about rapid warming of the body would allow micro bubbles to expand in the blood stream.
I just drink alot of water before hand and pee in my suit repeatedly during dives.:D
I took a skin hit from some tight wrist guages once; just localized to the area of constriction from an expanding wetsuit on ascent; this is not a true type 1 hit as its not systemic.
It makes sense that if you use hot water this would cause vasodilation and incease perfusion/gas loading and then as cold water enters the suit; the vasoconstriction in the skin would limit offgasing; causing skin only bubble formation on ascent... I dont trhink this would be classified as a type 1 hit either as it is not from Sustemic bubbles.
I think,on at least one occaision; that I have gotten this rash and never realized it was from this mechanism; it resolved on its own without incident.
I dont think this is a major safety concern; and will continue to use some warm water in the suit to take away the chill until its cold enough to go dry.
12-15-2004, 07:41 AM
I agree with all that FANCY mumbo jumbo you said! Hot water has been poured down suits as far back as I can remember. When I was 10 or 11, that was my job filling the IGLOO with hot water for the old man and friends to use down their suit. I can't say anyone ever died, took a hit due it, or had health problems from it.
You know the funny thing is, I never met anyone who got bent until I got out of the Military and moved to Florida in 99. I'm from Louisiana and the common dive is deeper and colder than our average depths here in FL. Average dives in La seem to be deeper due to terrain and structure than they do here in Florida. Things just don't make sense.
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