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Thread: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

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    RBW Member trimix is on a distinguished road trimix is on a distinguished road trimix's Avatar
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    Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    I've had a number of episodes in the past year of mild skin bends on my shoulder (rash, itchy, mottled color) after a controlled, normal decompression dive. Naturally, no reasonable explaination. Before my first and only chamber ride, I never had any symptoms of DCS, on similar or even more severe dives.
    I'm currently scheduled for a PFO test, but waiting...

    But the more reading I do on forums or magazines, it seems this happens to a LOT of experienced technical divers out there, and quite frequently. Is this true? What's happening to youse-guys?
    I already run pretty conservative profiles, but am considering another level still. Should I be worried, or is this a much more common thing among tech divers than the "official" media might let on?

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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Quote Originally Posted by trimix  View Original Post
    I've had a number of episodes in the past year of mild skin bends on my shoulder (rash, itchy, mottled color) after a controlled, normal decompression dive. Naturally, no reasonable explaination. Before my first and only chamber ride, I never had any symptoms of DCS, on similar or even more severe dives.
    I'm currently scheduled for a PFO test, but waiting...

    But the more reading I do on forums or magazines, it seems this happens to a LOT of experienced technical divers out there, and quite frequently. Is this true? What's happening to youse-guys?
    I already run pretty conservative profiles, but am considering another level still. Should I be worried, or is this a much more common thing among tech divers than the "official" media might let on?
    I our team there is one diver who also has problems with skin bends. She only had it on two occasions. But she was diagnosed with a PFO (small). Which kind of PFO test are you going to have?

  3. #3
    Dave Tomblin wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc's Avatar
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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Skin bends twice last year. Supposedly un-deserved hits (well within planned profile) possible de-hydration for both. I am not getting any younger (51yo)
    Cheers,

    Dave....

    www.wedivebc.com

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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    I had skin bends 4 days into a liveaboard trip in the southern Red Sea. Recreational level diving 3 -4 times a day with no deco. Just skin itching, no visible rash, but quite uncomfortable. It happend twice and disappeared completely after the following dive.

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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Quote Originally Posted by trimix  View Original Post
    I've had a number of episodes in the past year of mild skin bends on my shoulder (rash, itchy, mottled color) after a controlled, normal decompression dive. Naturally, no reasonable explaination. Before my first and only chamber ride, I never had any symptoms of DCS, on similar or even more severe dives.
    I'm currently scheduled for a PFO test, but waiting...
    my question is always, how do you get out of the water?

    do you have to climb a stair when coming back on a boat, or are you carrying heavy things, heavy stages etc??

    I know I can force myself a bend in my shoulders when I climb out of the water on a boat with my gear on!
    that's why (if I can) I ALWAYS take off all my gear in the water, when boatdiving

    regards
    paul
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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Quote Originally Posted by trimix  View Original Post
    (rash, itchy, mottled color)
    I get exactly that after walking to work on a cold morning anywhere where the wind gets in.
    I'm not sure all our 'skin bends' are really skin bends. Some are just too 'undeserved'.

  7. #7
    Dave Tomblin wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc has a reputation beyond repute wedivebc's Avatar
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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelh  View Original Post
    I get exactly that after walking to work on a cold morning anywhere where the wind gets in.
    I'm not sure all our 'skin bends' are really skin bends. Some are just too 'undeserved'.
    I agree, I have had numerous ichy rashes and red blotches. When I experienced skin bends it was painful to the touch, like a sunburn, and large mottled purple areas around my torso. The pain and blotches lasted several days. The first time I also felt quite nauseous and run down. I later (several hours) developed a pain in my left wrist that I ended up keeping a tension bandage on for a couple of days. Did I go to the chamber? No, I called DAN and VGH and they wanted me to come in but since it was going to be 6 hrs before I could get in the chamber I thought I would be a tough guy
    Second hit was much like the first without the wrist involvement. Started out feeling like a *****ling in my lower back. By the time I drove home I knew exactly what it was and got out a deco bottle of O2 and watched TV while sucking on O2 for almost an hour. Pain still lasted a couple of days but symptoms much less than first hit.
    I am very careful to hydrate prior to every dive and so far have been clear.
    Cheers,

    Dave....

    www.wedivebc.com

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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    Trimix,

    Both my buddy and I have had bends of varying degrees including your symptoms on otherwise conservative dives (20% safety on VR3 & 1.25 setpoint against 1.3 on unit & higher for some of deco). We know of a few others in the same boat (literally, sometimes !!).

    We both tested positive for PFOs of 11mm and 13mm - both fixed - both have had no more bends. Not saying your's is, but my opinion is, have the test.

    FYI - both our tests were fairly non invasive, needle in arm, bubbled solution, few monitoring pads on my patchy shaved chest (very attractive !!) and ultrasound monitor to check for bubbles going where they shouldn't ..... of which there were lots !!! Operation was 3 day stay in hospital with Op on 2nd day, through the groin, no stiches, and on the train home the next evening!

    Let us know how you get on. Wish you all the best.

  9. #9
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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    This happens to a friend of mine as well as myself once or twice a season, with no known triggers that we can figure out.... A hard minor swelling in the area of the muscle that goes from the neck to the shoulder or a little lower. It is warm to the touch and the skin resembles a bit of an orange peel. It recedes goes away after a few days.

    Talked to DAN about it and they didn't think it was DCS. Met up with a DAN Physician at a seminar and described it to him. He said it was Lymphatic Bends. Not a serious condition. Said that some people don't acknowledge it exists, but he's seen enough of it to be convinced otherwise.

    Richie

  10. #10
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    Re: Frequency of "Skin Bends"?

    A diver in my group was diagnosed with a PFO following a skin bend

    Its worth checking out.

    Skin bend sounds benign but is actually quite serious. Id rather have joint pain.

    ATB

    Mark

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