Mottled, Blanching Skin Changes After Aggressive Diving

J Spec Oper Med. 2019 Summer;19(2):14-17. doi: 10.55460/K7M6-ANOA.


The initial livedo skin changes of cutis marmorata, also known as cutaneous decompression sickness (DCS), are transient in nature. Accordingly, early images of violaceous skin changes with variegated, marbled, or mottled appearance are rare, whereas later images of deep, erythematous, or violaceous skin changes are readily available. This case presents the opportunity to view the early skin changes characteristic of cutaneous DCS, which would likely manifest at Level I care in the setting of a diving injury during Special Operations missions in austere environments. The unique diving context also allows an overview of DCS in addition to a review of skin eruptions associated with various marine life. As diving is frequently used by Naval Special Warfare, topics presented in this case have significant relevance to Special Operations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decompression Sickness / diagnosis*
  • Diving / adverse effects*
  • Exanthema
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / diagnosis*