Chlorine Allergy - Vitamin C Treatment

Chlorine Allergy Treatment --

Chlorine Allergy or Allergic to chlorine? 

According to allergists, people do not have a “chlorine allergy” but rather a reaction to chlorine.  Chlorine reacts with your skin cells, leaving a layer of chlorine on the surface of your skin. (Technically, this is a layer of chloramines but people say "chlorine" so I'll use that word here).  You may notice that you smell like chlorine?  That’s because you are still covered in chlorine.  Chlorine reactions may include itchy, red skin or itchy bumps -- the same things we call chlorine allergy.  See also Chlorine Itch. Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple: do a better job washing the chlorine off of you after swimming.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) posed this question: Can you be allergic to chlorine? Their answer: No, but you can be sensitive or have a reaction. See also, Chlorine Sensitivity.

“Chlorine reactions may include itchy, red skin or hives (itchy bumps). This is not an allergy but is actually "irritant dermatitis" (like a chemical burn), caused by hypersensitivity to this natural irritant. Chlorine is also drying to the skin and can irritate existing dermatitis.”

“Chlorine may indirectly contribute to allergies by irritating and sensitizing the respiratory tract. Studies have suggested that frequent swimming in chlorinated pools and exposure to cleaning products containing chlorine may increase the risk of developing asthma and other respiratory allergies, both in adolescents and in adults.

This is most detectable in people with long-term exposure, including lifeguards, professional cleaners, and swimmers with more than 1,000 hours of exposure. Many Olympic swimmers have suffered from chlorine sensitivity, found relief and gone onto win numerous medals, like six-time U. S. Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken and five-time Australian gold medalist Ian Thorpe.”

The article lists the following symptoms of chlorine sensitivity:

  • Skin redness, tenderness, inflammation, and/or itchiness at the site of contact
  • Skin lesions or rash
  • Scales or crust on the skin

Notably “Hives (urticaria) share some of these symptoms (itchiness and redness), but with raised patches or bumps with well-defined edges. Hives may appear suddenly and may grow in size.”

Chlorine Allergy Treatment

Skin sensitivity is typically treated by washing the affected area with clean water to try to remove any traces of the remaining irritant, i.e., cleaning product or swimming pool water

Notice that the cure for “chlorine allergy” is getting the chlorine off of your skin.  This seems simple but many people rely on ordinary shower products to wash away the chlorine.  Those products do not get the chlorine off of your hair and skin.

 

** After swimming, your hair and skin would be better off if you washed away the chlorine.  To do this, just use SwimSpray after swimming.

Comments

Like Liz Lloyd I have returned to swimming after about a ten year gap and now experience severe sneezing, very runny nose and blocked sinuses for about a twelve hour period following swimming. I love to swim and it is part of my exercise and weight loss programme which apart from the allergic reaction has worked very well. I will be so upset if I have to stop swimming, so any suggestions on what to do to relieve the sneezing etc would be very gratefully received.

I group up with a pool in my back yard so I swam alot. I started breaking out when I was probably 7-8 years old. The best treatment if you want to swim is take an allergy pill before and use hydrocortizone cream. It works the best over any other anti itch cream and will have it cleared up within a few days.

I have been swimming regularly (approx 2 x/week, 60+ minutes each time) for 30+ yrs. I have allergy-induced asthma & now find myself sneezing up a storm & experiencing the extreme sinus congestion. Irrigating my sinuses, eyes & mouth BEFORE I get in the poor really helps. For those with skin issues, I would definitely shower beforehand. And limit the time in the pool, and shower right afterward. I’m going to take an antihistamine, like others have said, to avoid the ~24 to 48 hrs of problems that are now emerging after swimming. I really wish that major pool operators would shift to salt water. WHY is salt better, I wonder? (I read online that the same unhealthy disinfection biproducts are formed, but not chloramines, fortunately. So some people don’t really fare better with salt water, I’m reading. Is that true for any of you?) Thank you!!

I have recently moved into an area that chlorinates water. I have the symptoms described here. They are worse after I shower. Any advice?

Iam for shure “allergic” to chlorine, I sneeze many times a day cough up clear flem. Tired all the time. I put it down to the pool as I have just started swim training. As soon as Iam out of the pool it starts. Guttted as I want to teach my grandson. Help

Hi Lisa, I’m sorry to hear of your problems at the pool. To be safe, I would get the problem checked out by your doctor or a dermatologist. If chlorine is what’s really bothering you, minimizing your exposure could help. That’s really the benefit that SwimSpray provides—it limits your chlorine exposure to the time that you are in the pool. Normally, the chlorine sticks to you for days after swimming. But, using SwimSpray would allow you to get it off immediately after swimming. I hope this helps. I really hope that you can get back to swimming without skin problems.

I have been a swimmer/diver all my life. Only when I moved from IL to AZ 5 years ago did I begin to have a reaction to the chlorine. I now itch on my lower legs, neck and elbows, I get hives, and severly dry skin around my knuckles. I have a backyard pool that I CANNOT USE- which sucks in AZ! I cannot even go in the city pools anymore. I continue to coach swim/dive now but cannot get in the pool with my team:( Any suggestions?

my face burns, is red, pain, dry, and is crusty is hurts and I do not know what to do my eyes are very red and it hurts any suggestions

My son started having a reaction to swimming pool water after chlorine was introduced into our city water. Since then he has an itchy, red, inflamed rash that will last for several days, no matter how well we wash his body off. The only thing that seems to give him relief is anti itch cream. He is dues to start swim lessons again, any suggestions on how to help prevent this during his lessons?

Intec America Corp is a manufacturer of copper ionization systems (chlorine alternative). I have read many articles discussing sensitivity to chlorine and how it effects some people. It seems chloramines (a byproduct of chlorination), is the culprit especially for those with asthma related issues. It effects some worse than others. We have many clients that are hyper sensitive to chlorine. Conditions range from skin sensitivity to sinus and asthma related issues. The numbers are way too high to suggest that there is no link. This is a great forum to get your message out. We can be found at http://www.Intec-America.com

My chlorine “allergy” Began when I was 12 years old and was hospitalized with a migraine headache after swimming. I’m 61 now, suffering with Auto Immune Disease of the liver. I won’t get anywhere near chlorine these days and have a whole house filter to keep it out of my shower and drinking water.

I can only swim in salt water pools. At about age 50 I developed an allergic condition to all chlorine based pools. Immediate serious hives along with my throat being effected. This happened to need at three different public pools on vacations.

I have the same problem as doug, nasal congestion with no skin problems…any help please?

Like lizlloyd, I have nasal and sinus symptoms, but no skin problems, after swimming. I started swimming again in January after many years of not doing so. Yesterday I was in the pool for more than an hour doing a 3,300 yard workout and had to take a benedryl when I got home due to the congestion and sneezing. I remember having some symptoms when I swam regularly some 20 years ago. Any advice appreciated.

I have horrid reactions that I developed in my early 20s from chlorinated water, I have a filter on my shower to remove the chlorine or I get blisters from it burning my skin esp in areas that are super sensitive. I now have a daughter and it really sucks to have to sit on the sidelines while others take her swimming (I wish all pools were salt water) I am going to try this and see if it hurts

I just posted a follow-up to this thread. Here’s the link: http://www.swimspray.com/blogs/chlorine-hair-and-skin/12312457-reaction-to-chlorine

I have a terrible reaction to chlorine in the shower and in the pool. So my question is will swim spray help both of these problems? I would really love to know because I’ve had this problem, especially on my legs, for years now and would really love to get rid of it. Please and Thank You!

I am 50 and I have had what I thought was dandruff most of my life and extreme red itchy scalp with bumps or blisters on the back of my neck that have just started appearing in the past year. I have tried everything and I am seeing a Dermatologist who put me on Ovace 10% shampoo to use daily and leave on for 15 minutes and Fluocinonide Topical solution to use every night. It seemed to work the first 3 weeks but now the bumps are back on my neck. I have been thinking for a while I might have a reaction to chlorine in the tap water. Is this possible and is there a way of removing the chlorine from the water? My mother swears that she rinses with water and vinegar and then rinses the water and vinegar out with just water. Any thought on that and is it possible to remove the chlorine even if I had to wash and rinse my hair in the sink? I am out of ideas and getting depressed over this.

Hi I’ve developed Skin redness, tenderness, inflammation, and itchiness on my face from swimming butt this was over a month ago ad one of the 3 spots gets daily itchy will swimspray still hep? Or would you have any other recommendations?

I get severe asthma attacks from showering in town water, then I swell up like with food intolerances.
It seems to me that you can actually be allergic to anything there is. Some people are even allergic to water.

after swimming my mouth gets itchy and unbearably itchy during the night so I cant sleep, I sneeze and my nose becomes completely blocked this is not just sensitivity!!!! I now wear gogles as it used to affect my eyes so badly that they stayed really puffy and bloodshot until the end of the following day

I started swimming 2 years ago and every time I swim I spend the rest of the day sneezing, up to 100 times a day. By the evening, my nasal passages are swollen shut. I cannot breathe through the night, but in the morning when I get up, it’s all gone and I am fine. I have tried benedryl, zyrtec, and numerous sprays. I have been to an ENT and allergist. Nothing works. It’s only my nose and nasal passages. I am miserable for an entire day.

Hi Tracey-
It is very difficult to prevent chlorine related side effects with a pretreatment. Applying lotions or other barrier products to the skin before swimming is minimally effective because those products come off during the swim, leaving skin exposed.

I would recommend using SwimSpray to get the chlorine off AFTER swimming. That should help the problem considerably because it will limit you daughters chlorine exposure to the time she actually spends in the pool. Getting the chlorine off after swimming can help a lot with the chlorine burn and/or chlorine itch.

You may also consider using a moisturizing lotion after showering. That can restore some of the oils that are eaten up by the pool chlorine.

Hi Noémie,
Have you checked the pool’s chemical levels to make sure that they are safe. The symptoms that you describe sound somewhat extreme for normal exposure to chlorine, so I would suggest confirming the chemical levels right away.

Hi! So, I’m definitely allergic/intolerant to chlorine but I have really different reaction then that! Nausea, trouble breathing, feeling really tired (after swimming and I can’t wake up the morning after), panick attacks sometimes and I even pass out if I’m exposed for a long time!

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