Chlorine Rash vs Swimmer’s Itch

Oh chlorine, you evil chemical you!

To be honest, I’m shocked they haven’t discovered an alternative safer chemical to mix in pools and hot tubs for those with ultra-sensitive skin, considering how harmful chlorine is for some. Anywho, this powerful and effective chemical works wonders for reducing bacteria, viruses and keeping out contaminated pollutants. Oddly enough, it actually has many benefits for the body. But we’re going to focus on the negative side effects from chlorine – in particular, effects on your skin.

There are two common types of reactions that one can get from chlorine. There’s the chlorine rash and there’s swimmers itch.

Chlorine Rash – Caused by exposure to chlorine mostly from swimming pools. This usually forms after swimming, when the chlorine has seeped into your pores, regardless of washing yourself off. Once the chlorine penetrates your pores, your skin may have a severe reaction such as itching, a cluster of bumps, patches of rashes or even tender swollen skin.

Swimmer’s Itch –  May be caused by any body of water, unlike chlorine rash which is only from exposure to chlorine filled pools and hot tubs. If someone has swimmer’s itch, it is likely they’ve been exposed to Pseudomonas bacteria or microscopic parasites from fresh water. These parasites can latch onto the skin, causing cercarial dermatitis. The symptoms include bumps, blisters, itchy skin and a rash that covers the entire body.

Solution – Luckily this happens quite often and there are over the counter solutions you can purchase (although, it is recommended you see a doctor).

Please stay safe this Spring/Summer when it comes to swimming. And if you have severe eczema, it’s probably best to use your judgment when it comes to swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool.

Sources – https://www.fastmed.com/health-resources/swimming-pool-rash-or-chlorine-rash/
https://www.healthline.com/health/chlorine-rash#chlorine-rash-vs.-swimmer’s-itch

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