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Discussion Starter #1
I finally realized the rash I get around my neck (but not really my wrists) every boating season is due to a latex allergy. I searched earlier posts on MB about this, and have been trying to find non-latex gasket options, without much luck. Just going with Neoprene doesn't sound very waterproof, & being Colorado & all, the water here is pretty chilly for that. Has anyone else with this issue found any good solutions? I would spend the $ for a decent option. Nothing makes me happier than kayaking....but this latex allergy is no bueno. My rash guard helps a little, but not much. Any suggestions?
 

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I have been getting rashes from my gaskets as well. I ended up buying some cheap panty hose and cutting them to fit around my neck underneath my gasket. Ya it's kinda goofy and another piece of gear to carry around but I used it for 24 days on the grand canyon and avoided getting any rashes.
 

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It sounds like a contact dermatitis - a rash where the latex actually touches your skin but not a rash that spreads to other areas. If this is right, you might try covering your neck with a thin base layer of some kind. I've seen balaclavas (thin ski masks) that extend down and cover the neck too. Or find an old pair of long johns, cut a short section of leg off and slip that down to cover your neck under your neck gasket. A thin layer of silicone-based lube may help.

Otherwise, neoprene and velcro are your best options. Best of luck!
 

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Going to be making some Neoprene Gaskets this week

all of my drytops hit their half life x 2 this winter so I am going to be making some Neoprene Gaskets to see how that goes. I've got some realy cool, super stretch stuff that seems it will do the trick for what I need. A bit complicated fitting different jackets but hopefully it will all come togther. I should know by Friday whether to make more (ie if there is a basic theorem involved).

I think it can be an alternative if you don't like Latex.
 

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I'm allergic to both latex and neoprene and have been fighting with this for years. I finely gave up and had silicone seals installed in my new Kokatat. The bad news is it is very pricey and they have to install a hard ring( flexible )in the sleeves and neck. The good news is you can then replace the seals themselves fairly quickly and cheaply. Dive right in scuba is the name of the company that did mine.
 

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I'm allergic to both latex and neoprene and have been fighting with this for years. I finely gave up and had silicone seals installed in my new Kokatat. The bad news is it is very pricey and they have to install a hard ring( flexible )in the sleeves and neck. The good news is you can then replace the seals themselves fairly quickly and cheaply. Dive right in scuba is the name of the company that did mine.
Mike (owner) at DRIS is a good friend of mine. I used to live in Chicago and he was my local shop. He won't do you wrong!
 

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If you think you are allergic to latex avoid it so your allergy doesn't get worse. It starts with contact dermatitis and gets worse with exposure. I use neoprene and pull back in every monster wave I can get so this means I am in the water regularly. So even though I am in a cat I am wet all the time. As in last weekend and this weekend. Dry and toasty. Sometimes if I get worked i might be just a little damp at the neck but it is insignigicant. Fit is much more important for staying dry but it is easily customized. Trust me you don't want your allergy to get worse unless you want greater problems than which gasket to use boating.

You should check neoprene with hot and sweaty skin too because it could be the chemical accellerants used (instead of nrl) and it would be a drag to go through the trouble and $ and find out it doesn't work either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi all, thanks for the input. I do have a latex allergy, I can't do latex gloves or bandages either:-/ Think I'll try the pantyhose barrier, or maybe even a thin wool or silk neckgaiter, maybe that will improve things without a major investment. But if it doesn't work, I'll have to make the investment. The river is pretty much my favorite place to be when it's running if I can help it. I've got no problem at all winding up cold, wet, hungry and happy for all that fun. But the neck gasket reaction, that part sucks.

Desertcat, how do the new seals work for you? Do you not get a reaction to it? I'm curious how well it works.

I'll be curious to hear how your efforts work, Landis.
 

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My last 2 cents, don't do it. You will continue to be exposed and your allergy may progress. It can be life threatening and an unbelievable pain on daily life.
 

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Hi all, thanks for the input. I do have a latex allergy, I can't do latex gloves or bandages either:-/ Think I'll try the pantyhose barrier, or maybe even a thin wool or silk neckgaiter, maybe that will improve things without a major investment. But if it doesn't work, I'll have to make the investment. The river is pretty much my favorite place to be when it's running if I can help it. I've got no problem at all winding up cold, wet, hungry and happy for all that fun. But the neck gasket reaction, that part sucks.

Desertcat, how do the new seals work for you? Do you not get a reaction to it? I'm curious how well it works.

I'll be curious to hear how your efforts work, Landis.
It works for me, but I still get a slight sunburn like reaction around my neck if I am using my suit for extended periods so I use a barrier like suggested above. I use a cut off balaclava. Give that a try first before you go to the more drastic measures. As Ihowemt pointed out it can get worse with continued exposure. Mine went from a slight rash to the point I couldn't even use a neoprene spray skirt.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
cortisone cream

Saran wrap? sounds interesting, but not real pleasant, but couldn't be too much worse than gaskets already feel to begin with I suppose. I've been using an old neck gaiter, that does help, it still gets red if I'm in the water for awhile, but not as much of a full on rash reaction, which is a BIG improvement from before. I asked my dermatologist, she said it's not likely for it to spread or provoke an internal allergic response. She suggested an cortisone cream before &/or after paddling. She said using a barrier like vasoline would help, but don't oily materials/lotions break down the latex in gaskets? Thanks for the feedback ya'll!
 
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