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May 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Skin Bends? A New Study Suggests Serious Ramifications!

from the May, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Decompression sickness (DCI) can present itself in many different guises, with symptoms varying from slight mottling of the skin or subcutaneous rash to full neurological symptoms. While the latter is necessarily thought of as a serious health problem, the former is often dismissed as "only a skin bend." Forget the "only."

A skin bend most often manifests itself as mottling on the upper torso, upper arms, and buttocks in varying degrees of severity. There is no generally accepted explanation of how gas coming out of solution is related to these skin changes, but explanations include 1) the occurrence of gas bubbles in subcutaneous tissues; 2) the obstruction of subcutaneous arteries with bubbles bypassing the lungs (as with PFO -- patent foramen ovale); 3) an inflammatory reaction to bubbles presenting locally in the tissues; or 4) bubbles causing injury to the interior surface of blood vessels at remote locations....

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