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Old 17-05-2017, 14:05   #1
Jd1
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Itching lower legs after diving ?

I am wondering if anyone has experienced intense itching on the lower legs after diving? I use a wet suit. I can't see it to be an allergic reaction since only the lower legs maybe half way to the knee are affected. It lasts about an hour after coming out of the water. The legs don't feel itchy while diving. The itching skin is red but I am not sure if it's just from me scratching (it's a real intense itch!).
Oh, I rinse with fresh water as soon as I get out of the water.
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:07   #2
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

Something on the inside of the wetsuit that you're reacting to? Maybe a soap cleaning of the wetsuit.
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:12   #3
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

Allergy, sting or skin bends...Depends on your dive profile!
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:19   #4
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
I am wondering if anyone has experienced intense itching on the lower legs after diving? I use a wet suit. I can't see it to be an allergic reaction since only the lower legs maybe half way to the knee are affected. It lasts about an hour after coming out of the water. The legs don't feel itchy while diving. The itching skin is red but I am not sure if it's just from me scratching (it's a real intense itch!).
Oh, I rinse with fresh water as soon as I get out of the water.
Possibly some kind of nerve damage. Sounds like diabetes but I'm not saying it is that. See a doctor.
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:41   #5
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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Allergy, sting or skin bends...Depends on your dive profile!
Hmmm, I was only cleaning the boat bottom, 45 to 60 minutes, no sting (always the same), I will google skin bends ... but wouldn't it be in other areas like arms ?
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:42   #6
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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Something on the inside of the wetsuit that you're reacting to? Maybe a soap cleaning of the wetsuit.
The suit has only ever been rinsed in fresh water ....
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Old 17-05-2017, 14:51   #7
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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Possibly some kind of nerve damage. Sounds like diabetes but I'm not saying it is that. See a doctor.
Well that is an excellent diagnosis / possibility ... I am in fact a diabetic on insulin and pills. I do have nerve damage (some loss of feeling / numbness) in my toes but that was caused by chemo therapy. I just never thought of it affecting the legs (which haven't given me any issues under normal circumstances) like that. I will check with my doctor next time I see him.

Thank you very much for your reply, that is a real possibility and I will have to look into how diabetes could cause this kind of interaction!
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Old 17-05-2017, 15:07   #8
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

I have thought about one additional possibility - the water is fairly cold and the sections of leg that itch are fairly skinny. It could be that the legs are just getting too cold and warming them up causes the itching just like warming up frozen hands in winter. I am not sure how to test that theory yet but it's something else to try.
Thanks for all the replies - I was stumped ....
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Old 17-05-2017, 15:39   #9
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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I have thought about one additional possibility - the water is fairly cold and the sections of leg that itch are fairly skinny. It could be that the legs are just getting too cold and warming them up causes the itching just like warming up frozen hands in winter. I am not sure how to test that theory yet but it's something else to try.
Thanks for all the replies - I was stumped ....
Could be. It does go away after an hour. Maybe a shallow dive in a warm pool can be a point of comparison.

Right now I'm feeling a sympathetic dull pain in my own leg. Nerves are crazy.
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Old 17-05-2017, 16:12   #10
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

You could have poor blood flow to those areas, & when in cold water this gets magnified, wetsuit or not. So then when you start to warm back up, the itching starts. Which if this is the case, it could be dangerous; cold blood re-entering your body's primary systems. And a few other bad scenarios come to mind. So it's worth getting it checked.
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Old 17-05-2017, 17:09   #11
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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You could have poor blood flow to those areas, & when in cold water this gets magnified, wetsuit or not. So then when you start to warm back up, the itching starts. Which if this is the case, it could be dangerous; cold blood re-entering your body's primary systems. And a few other bad scenarios come to mind. So it's worth getting it checked.
What kind of bad scenarios?
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Old 17-05-2017, 17:26   #12
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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What kind of bad scenarios?
Keep in mind that I'm far from being an MD, but in those regions of the legs, if blood flow slows too much, sometimes clots can form. And if the clots break free & travel anywhere important, such as an artery, the heart, brain, etc. The results aren't good, as I'm guessing you can imagine.

I didn't mention this before, as it's pure speculation on my part. Though you also have to remember that if you rewarm a hypothermia vicitim too quickly, the cold blood from their extremities re-entering their core systems can kill them. So you gently rewarm (only) the torso first in hopes of avoiding this.

Then again, it could just be neuropathy; diabetic or otherwise. That, or a host of other things. Some major, some minor.
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Old 17-05-2017, 17:51   #13
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

You solved the mystery in one of your replies. In cleaning the bottom, you displaced hundreds of critters that found a new home under your wetsuit. Wash your wetsuit well, have a beer, & quit worrying!
Cheers,
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Old 17-05-2017, 19:12   #14
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

Guys, part of the reasoning for my comments is that unless he's in a shallow estuary or lake, with little or no flow to the Pacific Ocean/Straits of Juan de Fuca, the water he's in never gets up to 10 deg. C, more commonly 5 deg. C (40deg. F). So the precautions one has to take are a bit different than for someone who's diving in warmer waters. Such temperatures are a game changer, especially if you're middle aged or older, or have pre-existing health conditions.
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Old 17-05-2017, 19:36   #15
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Re: Itching lower legs after diving ?

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Guys, part of the reasoning for my comments is that unless he's in a shallow estuary or lake, with little or no flow to the Pacific Ocean/Straits of Juan de Fuca, the water he's in never gets up to 10 deg. C, more commonly 5 deg. C (40deg. F). So the precautions one has to take are a bit different than for someone who's diving in warmer waters. Such temperatures are a game changer, especially if you're middle aged or older, or have pre-existing health conditions.
We get 10C in the middle of summer I would guess at 8C now.
I think I will try and reduce my dive time to 30 minutes or less and see how that affects things.
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