An ex­pe­ri­enced diver and DAN AP mem­ber ig­nores the warn­ing sig­nals of a rash, un­til the symp­toms es­ca­late

Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Research, Education & Medicine - By DAN AP Mem­ber

I have an ex­ten­sive div­ing his­tory span­ning 14 years and I’ve com­pleted more than 800 dives. I am ni­trox cer­ti­fied and my div­ing re­cently has been rel­a­tively shal­low (less than 25 me­tres) with a sin­gle tank and open cir­cuit.


Over the past two years, I have ex­pe­ri­enced three episodes of skin rash af­ter div­ing with no other symp­toms of de­com­pres­sion sick­ness (DCS). • Episode 1: 18 months ago, the mot­tled skin rash ap­peared af­ter a dive in the UAE. There were no other symp­toms and it went away with­out need­ing any treat­ment.

• Episode 2: 12 months ago, I dived in In­done­sia on ni­trox and com­pleted 40 dives. Again, the rash ap­peared with no other symp­toms, and went away with­out treat­ment. • Episode 3: Six months ago, I was back in In­done­sia and de­vel­oped a mot­tled rash on my chest af­ter a dive. My arms were aching round my el­bow joints, but it went away and I didn’t think it was an is­sue or DCI so I car­ried on div­ing.

On all three oc­ca­sions, I didn’t seek ad­vice from DAN, breathe oxy­gen or stop div­ing. I was not con­cerned as the rash went away nat­u­rally and I had no other symp­toms, I just thought it was the hot cli­mate that caused the mot­tling. It was only dur­ing the third episode where I had the ex­tra symp­tom of achy joints, but as it went away by it­self, I still didn’t think it was some­thing to worry about.


My fourth en­counter oc­curred ear­lier this year. I was div­ing in In­done­sia, on a two-week div­ing trip, when a skin rash ap­peared af­ter div­ing.

On day 1, I had com­pleted two dives when the rash de­vel­oped. How­ever, dur­ing my sur­face in­ter­val, it spon­ta­neously dis­ap­peared, so I car­ried on with the third dive of the day. I didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence any other is­sues af­ter the dive or later on at night.

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