BUY NOW
DIRECT FROM SWIMSPRAY OTHER DISTRIBUTORS AND LOCATIONS

Chlorine Allergy - Vitamin C Treatment

January 23, 2013

44 comments


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.



44 Responses

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

May 18, 2015

Hi BEISA –
Thanks for your note. If the chlorine in your tap water is bothering you, I would recommend using SwimSpray immediately before a final rinse off in your shower. That will ensure that your hair and skin are free from any chlorine (from tap water) that bonds to you during your bathing routine. Another strategy would be to take a bath and add 20-30 spray of SwimSpray to the bath water.
I hope this helps!
- Andrew

Beisa
Beisa

May 18, 2015

I am getting skin irritation not from swimming but from the chemicals when I take shower [Chlorine is the water] I thought it was my detergent I wash clothes with, even my soap I use in the shower, but it still would not go away. How would I be able to combat this skin irritation when I need to take showers?

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

March 24, 2015

Hi Hedi-
That’s an interesting routine. Let’s see what’s going on….
First off, the soap will not eliminate the chlorine. Rather, the soap will wash away oils. In your case, you are probably washing away oils from your already dry skin, which is aggravating the problem—that’s why you experience pain. I think lotion is a good move for you because you are removing the oils from your face by swimming in the chlorinated water and using soap.
Regarding the ice, it would make sense that cooling the area would numb it and alleviate some of your pain.
My recommendation would be preventing the problem rather than treating the symptoms. If you use SwimSpray after each swim, you can eliminate the chlorine immediately, giving your face the opportunity to heal. I would probably discontinue using the soap for a while and continue using the lotion (to treat the overly dry skin).
In any event, I am sorry that you have this problem. I think SwimSpray could really help you. If you try it, please let me know your experience.

Hedi
Hedi

March 23, 2015

Hi I just started breaking out on my cheeks with burning red rashes and bumps I found that if you wash your face ( with soap yes it will burn ) then apply lotion then finally cold water/ ice on the spot for seconds at a time help dull the pain a lot! ??

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

March 20, 2015

Hi Melody – Thanks for writing. I’m really sorry that you are having trouble with your skin. As always, I need to start by saying that the best thing for you to do is to see a doctor, probably a dermatologist or an allergist.
With this in mind, I can guarantee you that if you problems are caused by lingering chlorine, SwimSpray will solve those problems. Your symptoms sounds similar to those reported by other people having chlorine sensitivity. Getting ALL the chlorine off immediately after swimming will dramatically reduce your exposure to chlorine—that should help any problems caused by chlorine because you are eliminating the cause of those problems. Let us know if we can be of any more help.

Melody
Melody

March 20, 2015

Hi I’m a swimming teacher and spent up to 6 hours in a pool at a time! I’ve been teaching for 5 years now, but have recently broke out in a “measle” looking, but tested negative to measles. After I jumped out of the pool yesterday my rash was almost in welts!

Will swim spray be able to help me? I’ve had the rash for two weeks and it’s become worse with teaching in the pool.

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

February 03, 2015

For the chlorine side-effects described above, the important take home message is that the problem is CAUSED by chlorine on your body. If you eliminate the chlorine from your hair and skin right after swimming, you will NOT be covered in chlorine thereafter. Accordingly, your chlorine-related problems will likely subside. This is exactly the reason that I invented SwimSpray in 2010. I never go to the pool without it any more because it is so effective.

Laura Hooper
Laura Hooper

February 02, 2015

Two months ago, overnight, I developed a sensitivity to chlorine in drinking water. I got up one morning and drank a glass of filtered water out of our refrigerator and had an immediate burning sensation in the back of my throat. A squeezing sensation soon followed along with hoarseness. At first I thought something was wrong with our rural water supply but soon found that I couldn’t drink from any city water supply. Even bottled water burns. I’ve had to haul water from neighbors who have a private well and do not chlorinate. We are looking into a well, but travelling is a huge problem. I have found that large amts of lemon juice will sometimes help neutralize the chlorine and make it tolerable. I have a mild skin reaction so far, just dry, itchy skin.
But I haven’t been swimming yet since this started.

Miche
Miche

January 16, 2015

I have been to aquafit 10 times since end of November . 4 times I developed shortness of breath and flu like symptoms for about 12 hours.
I went to my gp twice who can’t figure it out. Today I took 2 antihistamines before clas. I am presently missing a retirement party cause I feel like a wet dish rage.
Any advice other than quitting aquafit ….which I will be doing

Loma Janse Van Vuuren
Loma Janse Van Vuuren

January 01, 2015

I moved to Pretoria and loves a hot bath. I suddenly started itching, red swollen skin rashes, red bloody eyes, asthma attacks. Doctors put me through hell with creams to kill germs. A pharmacist gave me cortisone and cortisone cream and within 3 days my skin was like normal. I started showering with cold borehole water. The sad thing is the moment a stop using cortisone the rash is back. The itching is driving me nuts. Please if anyone can give me advice i will be so grateful. Loma

Ervin
Ervin

December 31, 2014

Why don’t you look into finding other methods of sanitizing your pool. There are bromine, salt water pools, ozonators etc. or combinations. They all have issues but might let you enjoy your pool again.

Sylvie Lepine
Sylvie Lepine

December 08, 2014

Last May, we moved into a house in St Croix USVI with a pool in our backyard. I would go in the pool every day for at least one hour. In August I started getting rash all over my body except my private parts where my bikini. I did not know what it was until I left for a few weeks to visit my family in Canada and when I came back, jumped in the pool, and the rash came back the same night. The chlorine and ph level are good, but I get a rash every time I go in the pool, so I can’t go anymore. I was cleaning the shower with comet 2x bleach and got a rash on my arms within minutes. I am wondering if swim spray will help. I really hope I can swim in our pool again.

Donna Trelford
Donna Trelford

November 08, 2014

I have an allergy with chlorine drinking it makes me sick I get cramps and upset stomach my mouth swells and terrible uncomfortable. I also cannot shower. Hands go numb and itchy. drinking water has become a real problem

Hugh Erwin
Hugh Erwin

August 26, 2014

Hi I get the same reaction as Dee John dated 13 July 2014, just wondering the advice given to her, cheers

esther
esther

August 10, 2014

I just finished taking an antibiotic and now I cannot use my swimming pool. As soon as I put my feet in the pool they become red and itchy(about 3-5) minutes later then I rush to the shower to rinse them off and put on cream. The rash then goes away. What can I do to prevent the rash from occurring? I am getting depressed about not being able to swim. Please advise

denise
denise

August 07, 2014

Started a new exercise program of swimming and water aerobics, and LOVE it! But now I am avoiding class because I have a terrible cough for 6-8 hours after being in the pool. I’m concerned this is hurting my lungs and disappointed I can’t do this grat form of exercise

James Brandon
James Brandon

July 20, 2014

I certainly need help ever since I was 12 I would have these breakout where my skin would have a pinching feeling and so uncomfortable that I would want to rip it off and then on my upper lip I would have a liquid oozing out of it and by the next day it would be hard and crusty and yellow and when I try to peel it off its like hell and this happens when I go swimming in pools and when around chlorine so now I stay away and when the allergic reaction would ever happen I immediately buy an aloe plant cut it open and use the gooey paste inside and rub it on my body to help the oozing to stop and it’s not as bad. Does anyone have these same symptoms and/or knows a treatment for this problem?

Dee John
Dee John

July 13, 2014

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.

Casey
Casey

June 23, 2014

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.

Kara
Kara

June 13, 2014

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!!

Anita
Anita

June 10, 2014

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

Eddie Turner
Eddie Turner

May 15, 2014

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

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

May 05, 2014

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.

lisa
lisa

May 01, 2014

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?

megan patterson
megan patterson

April 14, 2014

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

Tara perkins
Tara perkins

April 08, 2014

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?

Steve McCune
Steve McCune

April 05, 2014

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

Bamma
Bamma

March 29, 2014

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.

Kathryn Appice
Kathryn Appice

March 27, 2014

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.

adebola
adebola

March 17, 2014

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

Doug
Doug

February 26, 2014

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.

Amber
Amber

February 19, 2014

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

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

February 16, 2014

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

Betty
Betty

February 16, 2014

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!

Mike
Mike

January 24, 2014

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.

Vinita
Vinita

January 18, 2014

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?

SM.
SM.

December 12, 2013

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.

lizlloyd
lizlloyd

November 23, 2013

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

Teresa Steel
Teresa Steel

November 20, 2013

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.

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

November 12, 2013

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.

Andrew Chadeayne
Andrew Chadeayne

November 12, 2013

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.

Noémie
Noémie

November 09, 2013

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!

Tracey O'Brien
Tracey O'Brien

November 05, 2013

My 8 year old daughter often suffers from itchy legs whilst in swimming, is there anything she can use before hand that will prevent this problem?

alex
alex

May 24, 2013

Hi my na, e is Alex and im 13 one day I had swimming at school and Iwore goggles and I got red eyes and around my eyes so I went to the doctor with my mum and he said that I have rubber allergy for goggles he gave me some eye trops cream and tablets so I was using them and after one week its gone and I didn’t get that anymore for a while but now I had swimming yesterday and I didn’t wear goggles and after it I got red under my eyes and it was sore and itchy and its really bad I’ve potted some cream on and eye trops but it didnt help I don’t know what to do and I think I have allergy for chlorine and im gone go to the doctor tomorrow I’m worried please help someone

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Buy 3 or More Bottles of SwimSpray & Get A Free SwimSpray Swim Cap!