Whether you’re a recreational or a competitive swimmer, you’re bound to have felt the negative effects of chlorine on your skin at one time or another. It usually starts with a tightness in your skin, followed by a dry itch that just doesn’t seem to be satisfied by scratching. It’s an annoying sensation that, if not treated, can cause worsening skin problems.
What is Chlorine Rash?
Long-term exposure to chlorine and other pool water additives can result in chronic dry, flaky skin, allergies, and skin damage like premature aging. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can fully avoid chlorines’ negative effects. A mix of healthy habits and chlorine fighting cleansers and soaps will leave your skin looking moisturized, healthy, and young all swim season long.
Effects of Chlorine Rash
Chlorine is added to pool water to help keep harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, at bay. While it is great at disinfecting pool water, its harsh chemical compound can take a heavy toll on skin. Over time, exposure to chlorine breaks down the natural, moisturizing oils that coat the outer layer of skin. Without this coating, moisture on the inside of skin dries up very quickly and results in itchy, flaky skin conditions. Pools that are treated with the proper levels of chlorine can wreak havoc on your skin, but are not very likely to cause any permanent or substantial health damage.
Keeping Skin Moisturized
One of the best things you can do to avoid chlorine rash after your time in the pool is to thoroughly rinse off with clean, fresh water after each and every swim. Take the time to rinse your entire body, as well as your swim gear, in the shower immediately after you leave the pool. This will help you avoid chlorine build up and allow you to apply lotion without the harmful chemical counter balancing the moisturizing effects. For a deep down clean try a skin cleanser that’s specially formulated to neutralize the effects of chlorine. Summer Solutions Swimmer’s Soap not only helps wash away harmful chemicals, but also re-moisturizes skin to solve that irritating “tight skin” feeling. And follow up your shower with Summer Solutions Moisture Therapy Lotion. Its refreshing, clean formula helps replenish skin moisture lost during swimming. And don’t be fooled by these products’ names: Summer Solutions products are ideal for year round use.
Preventing Chlorine Rash
If your drier-than-normal skin needs a little extra protection while in the water, SkinFriendly ‘Protect’ Lotion is perfectly suited for you. SkinFriendly forms a protective barrier around your skin. It’s great for use before, during and after water exposure. Its unique formula is not only trusted by swimmers with sensitive skin, but also used in hospitals and health care facilities that use water to wash their hands regularly. If you suffer from eczema, latex allergies, skin allergies or any other condition worsened by exposure to chlorine, then SkinFriendly (by the makers of DermaGuard) is a must in your swim bag.
Stay Fit and Happy
There’s no reason that you can’t have great looking skin AND be in top swimming shape. Be sure to watch for signs of over drying and nip them in the bud by rinsing off with fresh water and showering with the appropriate cleansers.