A chlorine rash is condition that can unfortunately develop with exposure to excessive chlorine in swimming pools. Skin that is in contact with varying levels of chlorine can be sensitive to the chloramines that are produced as a byproduct of the sanitization process in pools that aren't balanced and maintained properly.
A swimming pool rash can develop within as little as a few hours after swimming and cause an unsightly rash accompanied by itching, swelling and redness. In some individuals the rash can develop with very little exposure and for some it's the result of repeated exposure over many weeks depending on the individual level of sensitivity.
The culprit is usually the byproduct of chlorine after it comes in contact with sweat, urine and other biological substances often found in swimming pools. The chloramines can be found in the form of dichloramines, monochloramines or trichloramines that are all known irritants to skin and other mucous membranes including the ear, nose or throat and can lead to a chlorine allergy or sensitivity.
One of the many benefits of a salt water pool is that chloramines aren't produced during the natural chlorination process. The absence of chloramines is the reason why salt water systems are considered the healthiest pools in the world. Many pool owners that have upgraded to salt water chlorination have experienced alleviated allergy symptoms and no red or irritated eyes or skin. If you would like more information about chlorine be sure to visit our what is chlorine page.
If you experience any of the symptoms below you may be experiencing a chlorine sensitivity that can lead to a rash or irritation of the skin or mucous membranes. They range from mild to severe and can occur during or sometime after exposure to chlorine.
In addition to the above symptoms there may be other adverse health side effects. If you have a chlorine sensitivity, allergic reaction to chlorine or a rash you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
There is no cure for a rash caused by chlorine other than reducing or eliminating exposure but there are options to alleviate pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort you can try over the counter allergy eye drops or rinsing exposed areas with cold water immediately after swimming. It's a good idea to always have a shower before and after swimming to remove any residual chlorine to limit prolonged exposure.
Skin discomfort from chlorine can be alleviated with a hydrocortisone cream or cold compress to reduce swelling. A great option is to apply vaseline to areas of the body before swimming that are most sensitive or have a history of drying or flaking. There are many chlorine removal sprays on the market that are specifically made to reduce the effects of chlorine exposure by eliminating residue after swimming.
There are a few different ways you can approach reducing or eliminating chlorine rash from swimming. The best way to prevent swimmers rash is to consider a salt water system that will keep your pool safe and sanitary with lower and gentler levels of chlorine versus a regular chemical chlorine pool. Another preventative measure it wear clothing that will protect your skin from the suns ultraviolet rays that can aggravate the skin while swimming.
All-natural swimming soap that's handmade with 100% vegan ingredients including palm oil is a great way to cleanse chlorine residue after swimming. Also look for soothing elements such as calendula flower extract, organic aloe and shea butter.The combination of ingredients in the best swimmers soaps will help wash away chlorine that can irritate the skin if left over after using regular soaps or shampoos.
A rash guard swim shirt is a great way to reduce the chances of chlorine rash. It creates a barrier between your skin and chlorinated water that will help minimize direct contact between chlorine and your skin. The moisture-wicking or quick-drying fabrics can will further reduce exposure by drawing moisture away from your skin and decrease irritation. A long sleeve shirt will shield your skin from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, reducing skin sensitivity and the likelihood of developing a rash.
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