People who swim regularly will understand chlorine rashes how chlorine can dry your skin.
Swimming pools use chlorine because it is a powerful disinfectant, and kills all the nasty bacteria you may find in a public pool in order to keep swimmers safe. The downside is that it also kills all the good bacteria, including the ones that help your body produce Vitamins B12 and K, and the antioxidants that help kill the free radicals that are so important in preventing premature ageing. It also destroys Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids which can result in acne and skin irritations such as eczema and rashes.
According to the sports governing body British Swimming, people who swim a lot in chlorinated water tend to develop dry, itchy skin or a chlorine rash. Chlorine bonds to your skin, so the effects will be worse if you don’t get rid of it properly.
They recommend countering the dehydrating effects of chlorine by showering for several minutes after your swimming session to make sure no chlorine has been left on your skin; washing your swimming costume thoroughly and as soon as possible as skin rashes are often worse under the costume; and using a moisturising cream, especially on dry eczematous patches. You should also consider using barrier cream, such as Vaseline, on patches of dry skin before going into the pool to try to reduce skin contact with the chemicals.
A good face and body wash is essential to remove traces of chlorine; use them as soon as possible after swimming. Chlorine rashes can be a problem after s[ending too much time in a hot tub or pool, this is called chlorine exposure and will result in you developing chlorine rash. Chlorine sensitivity is often due to an allergic reaction to chlorine present in a pool or hot tub. Chlorinated water removes the skin’s natural oils, repeated exposure to chlorine can damage sensitive skin.
Rebalance and restore the lipid barrier and nourish very dry skin with a product that increases hydration and smoothness, repairs the barrier function of the skin and promotes healing; Swisscode’s Pure Vitamin F Forte ticks all of these boxes with its high y-Linolenic Acid content.
Rehydrating the skin is also super important for swimmers. One of the best ingredients for this is Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA is found naturally within our skin and the older we get, the less HA the body produces, which leads to increased dryness and fine lines. HA can also hold up to a thousand times its weight in water so you’ll get the benefit of the product drawing that moisture into your skin. And on that note…
There are a number of reasons why you should drink lots of fresh water before and after your swim. It will help to purify your skin by replacing moisture lost from the drying effects of the chlorine, protecting you against chlorine rashes or dry patches, and it also helps flush out the toxins in your body too – including the chlorine from the pool.
You can also make sure your diet includes a lot of essential fatty acids and omega-3, e.g. nuts, avocados and chia seeds, which will help keep your skin moisturised.
If you would like some more advice about the best moisturising and cleansing products to use for your skin to diminish the effects of chlorine, pop into our central St Albans Skincare Clinic or if you’re interested in purchasing the Swisscode’s Pure Vitamin F Forte, we do have this in our clinic so don’t be afraid to step in, say hello and pick some up for yourself.
A chlorine rash can be treated at home or using over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Most chlorine rashes will clear up after several days. If you aren’t getting relief with over-the-counter treatments for your chlorine rash, your healthcare provider can prescribe stronger medications to help clear up your chlorine rash. If you already have a chlorine rash, it can become more irritated the more you go into the pool.
Consider taking a break from swimming or hot tub soaking for a while to allow your skin to heal from your chlorine rash. This may take around two weeks depending on how inflamed you are and if you’ve been exposed to pools before. Your symptoms should improve once your skin has had time to heal from the itchy rash gained from the chlorinated pool water. Chlorine rashes are often referred to as ‘hot tub rash’ and are gained from chlorine exposure from swimming in chlorinated pool water. Developing a chlorine rash is nothing to panic about, it can be reduced by using over the counter medication.
Symptoms of a chlorine rash due to repeated exposure to chlorine or a chlorine allergy include:
To prevent getting a chlorine rash from pool water, do more than rinse off when you get out of the pool; shower and wash diligently with a gentle soap to remove some of the films that chlorine forms on your skin. If you swim frequently, you may want to purchase a special swimmer’s soap or body washes designed to remove chlorine and help reduce the likelihood of getting a chlorine rash.
Ingredients such as vitamin C break the bonds chlorine forms on the skin. Finish up with a moisturizer after swimming to offset the drying effect pool water has on your skin (the more you get in and out of the pool, the worse this effect is). Reapply your moisturiser often to avoid getting chlorine rash. Keep in mind that most sunscreens are moisturizing — another good reason to reapply sunscreen after swimming.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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