Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving

3 years 5 months ago #300160 by jnurse
jnurse created the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
I get eczema on my palms, fingers and bottom of feet everytime i go on a tropical dive vacation. Anyone have any advice on what i can do to stop it from happening? I get little blisters and then severe peeling. It usually starts to happen around the 3rd day of diving and gets really bad and takes months before it gets better.

Please help!!!

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3 years 5 months ago #300161 by AB
AB replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
jnurse,
from your id it would seem you have a background in medicine? Seawater is full of organisms which can affect some people. Even the elevated salt levels can cause irritation in sensitive people, and maybe the warmer climates predispose you to this. You could try avoiding contact with the seawater by wearing a drysuit and dry gloves, or, more simply, barrier cream with boots and gloves. If you are still having problems it may simply be temperature or humidity related.

If you are good in cooler water, perhaps avoid the tropics. There is more diversity and colour in temperate seas anyway!

Alan

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3 years 5 months ago #300162 by jnurse
jnurse replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
I just have a funny last name. No medicine background. I was considering wearing a drysuit in the tropics to see if that worked. I also wonder if its possible to have an allergy to neoprene that for some reason is only limited to my palms and the bottom of my feet. I developed this allergy about 3 months in to working on the cayman islands as a underwater videographer. I got a climatized to the weather and started wearing a wetsuit. There after i got the hand problems. I ended up quitting my dream job because of it. Now i only dive for pleasure but cant imagine quitting tropical diving all together. Each time i go gets progressively worse. I tried dry gloves once in the tropics and my hands still got really bad even though they stayed dry.

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3 years 5 months ago #300163 by AB
AB replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Aha! if it's happening without exposure to the water I'd guess it was a temperature/humidity thing which makes it hard to treat. Do you only get it if you wear neoprene gloves and boots? It is not a typical diving problem so might be time to see a doctor.

Alan

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3 years 5 months ago #300165 by jnurse
jnurse replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
It's not an exposure to sun thing because i've gone on tropical vacations without diving and didn't get any skin problems. It's either too much water from scuba or the neoprene itself. I am hoping its the neoprene because that would be easy to solve. I've been to a dermatologist and they are of no help. I am hoping by posting this message that some one is going through the same thing as me and has figured out what causes the problem.

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3 years 5 months ago #300166 by RodH
RodH replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Have a friend who gets eczema from the rubber in neoprene, but it is from direct contact, so she wouldn't get it on her palms or soles unless wearing gloves/booties. Doesn't even have much of a problem now with the lycra? linings only the uncovered edges. Almost the only way to be sure is trial and error, as my friend does every time she replaces a wetsuit. Another possibility could also be the cleaner/disinfectant used or the fact that one is not used.

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3 years 5 months ago #300170 by Dave
Dave replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Your condition sounds rather puzzling. It is obviously proving to be difficult to track down the cause. You could consider seeing a different dermatologist in case they may have idea that the first didn't come up with. You could also consider an allergy specialist.

Neoprene could be the cause but it seems odd to me that the areas where you mainly experience this problem are the areas that have virtually no contact with the neoprene. Have you tried different wetsuits when diving (eg different brands)? Some neoprenes may be made with different chemicals to others. The other factor is that in most wetsuits you don't actually have much contact with the neoprene itself due to the lining of the suit. For more info on neoprene allergy have a look at: www.wisegeekhealth.com/could-i-be-allergic-to-neoprene.htm

There is a thing called tropical eczema, defined as: Eczema occurring in plaques on extensors of the extremities; of common occurrence and unknown aetiology.
(Basically this is saying that it occurs mainly on the inner surfaces of arms and legs (eg inside elbows, knees etc). This article gets a bit lost in medical jargon: www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154...ulast=Nirmala;type=0

This general info on eczema may be of interest: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcart...ges/Eczema_explained

This article talks about sea water related dermatitis: www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/sea-wa...my-skin/show/1326424 Keeping in mind though that you only seem to have trouble in the tropics - maybe a combination of heat and sea water could be implicated)

Of course none of the above may necessarily have anything to do with your condition,but maybe there is something in there that could be of interest. If I were you I would be considering seeing an allergy specialist to see f any testing was feasible to identify potential causes.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jnurse

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1 year 1 month ago #302847 by jnurse
jnurse replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Since i last wrote this post i tested for neoprene/rubber and am not allergic. I also purchased a 30/30 drysuit and still got it. Ugggh! I am at a loss for what is causing this....

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1 year 1 month ago #302848 by AB
AB replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Sounds like there is something else at play here, and maybe not within the expertise of a dermatologist. Keep asking different medicos, and I'd start at the hyperbaric unit closest to you. Hopefully, someone else has presented with similar symptoms and you can find a link.

Alan

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1 year 1 month ago #302849 by The Padi Police
The Padi Police replied the topic: Hand & Foot Eczema caused from scuba diving
Have you been to the tropics and not dived? If so did the same symptoms occur?

It could be a simple fungal infection which flares up when exposed to humid conditions.

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