A wetsuit neck rash refers to a rash on neck that one may develop on wearing a wetsuit. Such a rash may develop if one is allergic to any of the materials that have been used for making wetsuits. Scroll down to find out more on the causes and treatment of such rashes.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. The skin comprises three layers that are referred to as the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue. The outermost layer of the skin is the epidermis, while the layer that lies underneath the epidermis is called the dermis. Below the dermis, lies the layer that is known as the subcutaneous tissue. This is a layer of fat and connective tissue that contains nerves and larger blood vessels.
The skin performs a wide range of functions. It is involved with the regulation of the body temperature and also provides one with the sensory information about one’s surroundings. Though it acts as a protective covering for the internal organs, the skin is exposed to the external agents. A variety of skin diseases that we suffer from, are a direct result of exposure to the harsh environment.
At times, the skin may get irritated or inflamed due to contact with a foreign substance. This condition is medically referred to as contact dermatitis. Many people suffer from contact dermatitis when they come into contact with certain fabrics, dyes or adhesive formulations. A wetsuit neck rash is one example of contact dermatitis. In this article, we will find out what causes such a neck rash and how it can be treated.
Neck Rash from a Wetsuit
A wetsuit is a close-fitting garment which is worn during surfing, scuba diving or other water sports. It is made from foamed neoprene, a synthetic rubber with bubbles of nitrogen gas trapped in it. It slows down the transfer of heat from the body while one is in water and thus, helps the divers stay warm in the cold water. The reason why some people may develop a neck rash on wearing this garment may be attributed to an allergy. Those who are allergic to rubber or neoprene, are most likely to develop a skin reaction.
Allergic or irritant contact dermatitis rash could even be attributed to the use of other materials that may be used while processing neoprene. Adhesive formulations such as PTBP formaldehyde resin, could also be the reason why one may develop such a neck rash. Phenol-formaldehyde resin has very good binding properties, which is why, this is used as an adhesive for leather or rubber products such as belts, bags or watch straps. It possible that this adhesive might be acting as an irritant.
How to Treat Neck Rashes
If you develop an itchy neck rash, every time you wear a wetsuit, it would be best to get yourself tested for a neoprene or a formaldehyde allergy. If you test positive, it would be better to refrain from wearing a neoprene wetsuit. After all, allergen avoidance is the best way to treat an allergy.
At times, the neck rash may not be caused due to an allergy. It may be due to friction from the wetsuit at the neck area. Under such circumstances, go for a wetsuit that fits you better. You must look for well-designed, better quality wetsuits. If you are suffering from severe itching around your neck, it would be best to consult a dermatologist for the treatment of the neck rash.
The treatment will also depend on the underlying cause. If the rash is the result of an allergy, the best way for treating such a rash, would be take an antihistamine. Allergy symptoms are caused due to the release of histamines by the mast cells. This is an immune response that occurs when one comes into contact with a substance that the immune system considers to be foreign. Antihistamines, as the name suggests, are a class of drugs that undo the effects of histamines. Dermatologists may also prescribe a medicated cream or ointment.
Applying a hydrocortisone cream topically would certainly help. While drug therapy would help in treating the rash, one must also avoid scratching over the affected skin. Scratching over the rash, can increase the risk of a secondary infection, and would also slow down the healing.
This was some information on how to treat a neck rash that may appear due to an allergic reaction from a wetsuit. If you ever develop a rash upon wearing one, the wise thing to do would be to consult a dermatologist immediately. It would be advisable to get an allergy test done as well.