Rashes From Chlorine And Other Skin Problems From Pools
Public swimming pools contain a high concentration of chlorine to kill bacteria, and your own pool, hot tub or whirlpool also require a way to kill bacteria. A rash from chlorine is a type of chemical dermatitis. If you develop an itchy rash all over your body that looks like chicken pox chances are this is not a chlorine rash, but a skin infection caused by pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium is prevalent in hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools that have not been drained and cleaned properly. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can also cause eye, ear, nose, throat and urinary tract infections. It is important to know what the true source is of your rash and because it may not develop immediately, it can be confusing since during the summer we also encounter bugs, plants that we react to and foods that may create allergic responses.
If you develop a rash from chlorine contact, unfortunately the best way to treat it is to stop swimming as frequently, although you may be able to find a lotion that you can put on before swimming that will act as a barrier between your skin and the irritating chlorine. This is a wise idea if you already suffer from any kind of eczema or extremely dry skin.
If you swim for competitive reasons and train frequently, consider using a full body suit, and a swimming cap. The suit will offer a barrier between the chlorine and your skin, leaving only your hands and feet exposed, which can easily be treated with a lotion before you swim. Goggles will help with any irritation to the eyes.
Over the counter corticosteroid creams will often relieve the problem, especially if the rash only occurs in a small area of the skin. The use of a cool compress may also help and/or bathing in water in which baking soda has been added. Aveeno, calamine lotion and other anti-itch lotions may also help.
Rash from chlorine should disappear after a week to ten days, unless the rash becomes infected, which usually happens if you scratch, then it would be advisable to seek medical attention.
It is important that the pool's chemical levels are kept at optimum levels, as too much chlorine can also lead to red, sore and irritated eyes. Showering immediately after swimming is always essential to wash off any chlorine residue. For pool owners who have kids who invite their friends over to swim, add an outside shower and encourage the visitors to use an antibacterial soap before and after swimming.