Chlorine Allergy

A chlorine allergy can be onset after exposure to high levels of chlorine or if you spend a lot of time in swimming pools either recreationally or through sports. The symptoms of a suspected allergy can range from mild skin irritation to a more severe reaction such as a painful and itchy rash or blistering of the skin.  

chlorine allergy

After swimming in a chlorinated pool some swimmers experience these symptoms that can be blamed on high levels of chlorine in the pool water. Pool owners that spend a lot of time in heavily chlorinated pools are most susceptible to these symptoms. It is important to note that medical evidence supports that in fact what swimmers are experiencing are signs of chlorine sensitivity or intolerance and not a chlorine allergy.

Symptoms of a Chlorine Sensitivity  

Allergy sufferers who frequently use a pool with substantial chlorine exposure can experience long-term adverse effects. These include symptoms closely related to asthma that can cause a restriction in the bronchial airway. Another common ailment is a mild chemical burn called irritant dermatitis. Chlorine can also aggravate an existing condition of dermatitis causing a chlorine rash that may get progressively worse at differing rates depending on the individual and overall exposure. 

Symptoms of a suspected chlorine allergy or chlorine sensitivity include but are not limited to the following:

  • Eye irritation and burning
  • Stuffy nose and inflamed mucous membranes
  • Breathing difficulties including symptoms related to asthma
  • Skin redness, tenderness, or rash on the skin

Often these symptoms show up right away but in some cases it may take hours or even days for some swimmers to feel the effects. A chlorine allergy is often blamed because the symptoms always appear in the presence of chlorine and improve when exposure is reduced or eliminated.  The severity of the reaction varies depending on the individual and the level of sensitivity.

Reducing a Suspected Chlorine Allergy

The most important step you can take is to use the proper amount of chlorine in your swimming pool. The chlorine concentration in a regular chlorine pool will be between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm or parts per million. If you can smell a strong chemical odour chances are the levels of chlorine are too high and should be lowered accordingly.

Salt water pool systems are becoming the standard in the pool industry and one of the main reasons is that they provide a safe and gentle environment with a lower level of chlorine that is produced naturally from salt. The salt water provides a more stable environment that allows for a lower concentration of chlorine while still providing the same level of sanitization. The natural process that occurs results in a swimming pool that's easier to keep balanced as well as being a healthier and less irritating. 

Showering before and after swimming will also help reduce the amount of chlorine your skin is exposed to and absorbs. Rinsing before swimming will help provide a healthier swimming experience for everyone using the pool. Failing to rinse off after swimming in a chemical chlorine pool means that your skin will be in contact with chemical residue the rest of the day.

If you notice what appears to be a reaction to chlorine it’s important to speak with a health care provider to receive personalized professional advice. 

Chlorine Allergy Products

Chlorine removal products are designed to reduce or eliminate chlorine and its byproducts after a swim. While they may not completely eliminate chlorine, they can significantly reduce its concentration, minimizing the risk of allergy reactions. Chlorine neutralizing products work by filtering out chlorine and its byproducts, making a swim in your pool a lot safer and more tolerable for those who have chlorine sensitivities.  

Chlorine Neutralizing Lotion

A chlorine neutralizing lotion is a pre swim body cream that will protect the skin from chlorine exposure. It's designed to be applied before and after swimming and will break down chlorine at the skin level during and most importantly, after you swim in a chlorine pool. The active ingredients include bees wax that creates a protective layer on the skin, and vitamin C which neutralizes the chlorine chemical. 

Diva Stuff Pre Swim Therapy Chlorine Lotion

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chlorine neutralizing lotion

Chlorine Removal Body Wash

A great way to reduce chlorine allergy sensitivity is to remove the irritant as soon as possible after swimming. While a shower will help, a chlorine removal body wash will effectively remove chlorine residue that regular soap doesn't. The best chlorine removal creams will be combined with moisturizing ingredients including; aloe vera, vitamin E and vitamins. These added ingredients can even help prevent eczema that can be aggravated during exposure to pool water chemicals including chlorine. 

Triswim Chlorine Removal body Wash After Swim Care

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chlorine removal body wash

Chlorine Allergy FAQs

Are there alternative swimming pool options for people with chlorine allergies?

Yes, alternative pool options include salt water pools, which use salt with a chlorine generator to produce chlorine in a milder form, or natural pools that use filtration systems like plants and biofilters instead of chemicals.

What are symptoms of chlorine allergy?

Common symptoms of chlorine allergy from swimming include skin irritation, redness, itching, dryness, eye irritation and respiratory problems such as coughing or wheezing. 

How can I relieve chlorine allergy symptoms?

The best way to relieve symptoms of chlorine sensitivity is to rinse off with fresh water immediately after swimming, use hypoallergenic soaps and moisturizers, and consider using chlorine removal products. 

Can chlorine allergies develop over time?

Yes, chlorine allergies can develop over time. Prolonged or repeated exposure to chlorine can sensitize the skin and respiratory system, leading to the development of allergic reactions. 

Can chlorine allergies be treated with medication?

Medication can help manage symptoms. Antihistamines can alleviate skin reactions and respiratory issues, while corticosteroid creams or ointments may be used for localized skin irritation. It's always best to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.  


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