There are several different types of materials used in wetsuits to achieve specific functions. It is helpful to better understand each of these materials in order to properly care for them.
Neoprene is the base material that virtually all wetsuits are made of. Neoprene is a type of rubber foam and is typically laminated with other materials depending on the desired function of the material.
A standard nylon outer lining is very durable against normal wear and tear. Normal care must be taken to prevent snagging, abrasion, and cuts.
"Skin" material may be used either inside or outside of your wetsuit and often around the wrists, ankles, and neck area. This material has a rubber like appearance either being smooth or textured, and is commonly referred to as "skin-in" or "skin-out". "Skin" neoprene material is typically used in areas where a water tight seal is desired or a benefit can be derived from it's water shedding properties. Some additional care is needed to prevent cutting, or abrasion of this material. Sharp fingernails may cut this material if care is not taken.
This material may be used inside of your wetsuit. Thermo-skin material has a silver-colored smooth skin type surface. This material has beneficial heat reflective properties and also provides a sealing surface similar to standard "skin" materials. Some additional care is needed to prevent cutting, or abrasion of this material. Sharp fingernails may cut this material if care is not taken.
X-Flex or Iso-Flex Neoprene:
X-Flex and Iso-Flex neoprene are special materials designed specifically to have a much higher rate of stretch than conventional materials. Due primarily to the looser nit needed to achieve this high degree of stretch; these materials may be more prone to snagging. "Hook-and-loop" fasteners may also cause some light snagging and pilling of the material. Some additional care is needed to prevent excessive abrasion or snagging.