Last year I started to get serious itching all over my body after diving in a wetsuit. It turned out that after 10 years of diving I had developed an allergy to neoprene wetsuits. The rash covered my whole body and was very painful and itchy and took up to 1 month to clear. Even Lycra rash guard type undersuits made no difference. The only answer was to wear my tri-laminate dry-suit but this has been hard work especially in Tenerife when the air temperature was 34 degrees C. I have been searching the internet for alternative solutions and I have found there are many people out there with a similar condition and if you are one of those, I have a great deal of sympathy with you, as this has been a very depressing situation for me, and I began to question my future in the career I love immensely.
After a year of searching the internet, I have found the solution that works for me; a suit from Fourth Element. The suit from the THERMOCLINE range, is made from Polartec Aquashell, and gives the equivalent thermal protection of 2.5mm of Neoprene. This can act as a barrier thick enough to be able to wear some additional neoprene on top. I spoke to Jim Standing at Fourth Element in the UK and he was very helpful and efficient and the suit was delivered within 48 hours. He tells me that there has been a lot of success with the Thermocline range with allergy sufferers. You can order the suits direct from Fourth Element. I ordered the long-johns with long-sleeve vest and have been using them with a standard 5mm neoprene shorty and plan to try a full length neoprene suit when it gets a little colder.
I hope this information will be useful to other allergy sufferers.
Andy Diving with new suit!