Why Do Divers Shower After Diving?

Many divers choose to take a shower after diving for a variety of reasons. They can relax and stretch after the dive in a hot shower, which helps them get back to the diving board quickly. Some divers prefer to use chamois towels, which dry off their bodies quickly. The reason why a diver needs to shower after diving is unclear, but a Reddit thread has some explanations.

Hot tubs help divers avoid muscle tension and cramping

Hot tubs are used by divers to help them recover from their dives and avoid muscle tension and cramping. After diving, muscles can become sore and tense, resulting from the buildup of lactic acid and toxins. Afterward, divers should drink plenty of water, ice painful areas, and stretch. For maximum sore muscle relief, spend at least 20 minutes in a hot tub.

Hot tubs help divers recover from diving by lowering muscle temperature and improving blood circulation. Diving pools are not particularly warm. The temperature is usually around 28 degrees, so a hot tub can help divers warm up and avoid muscle tension.

The cold water helps prevent decompression sickness

The ambient conditions that influence a diver’s thermal state and decompression treatments are known to affect the development of decompression sickness. One study conducted by the Navy used data from 73 divers who experienced the onset of DCS on days with lower air temperatures and higher wind chill factors.

The solubility of gases in water solutions and blood varies according to temperature. As temperature rises, solubility decreases. This causes a buildup of bubbles and increases the risk of decompression sickness.

Chamois towels are used by divers to dry off quickly

These towels are made from a lightweight and absorbent material called chamois. They are used by professional swimmers and divers to quickly dry off after a dive. Compared to regular towels, chamois towels are small and compact, making them easy to pack and transport.

A chamois towel can hold 10 times its weight in water and is fast drying, which is important for divers who need to dry off quickly between dives. Originally, chamois towels were made from the skin of a goat-like animal, which was common in Europe. Europeans used these small chamois towels for swimming.

Decompression sickness causes decompression sickness

Decompression sickness occurs when the body’s pressure is reduced too rapidly. This causes body tissues to absorb more nitrogen than they can expel. This can cause several symptoms, including headaches, numbness, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, decompression sickness can lead to death. The spinal cord is especially vulnerable to decompression sickness. In some cases, it can lead to numbness, tingling, or weakness. Joints can also be affected, resulting in stabbing, tearing, or burning pain. People can also develop a rash or experience difficulty with blood flow.

Showering after diving should be done with caution. Warm water causes blood vessels to dilate, which can reduce core body temperature and increase the risk of decompression sickness. Therefore, it is best to avoid hot tubs and showers for a few hours after diving. Instead, divers should bundle up in a heavy towel and wear a warm coat.

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