Chlorine Rash or Allergy?

December 29, 2012


Rash or bumps after swimming? Chlorine Allergy?

According to wikipedia, a rash is a change of the skin which affects its color, appearance or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and may be painful. 

The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely. If you are concerned about a rash, you should see a doctor - ideally a dermatologistDiagnosis must take into account such things as the appearance of the rash, other symptoms, what the patient may have been exposed to, occupation, and occurrence in family members. 

For people who spend a lot of time in chlorinated pools, one possible cause for a rash is the chlorine.  Since chlorine bonds to your hair and skin (and doesn’t simply wash away) it may continue to irritate the swimmer’s skin long after swimming.  If this lingering, malignant chlorine causes irritation it may manifest itself as a rash or bumps on the skin.  Some people report this as a “chlorine allergy.” Again, that’s a question for a doctor - perhaps an allergist.  One thing we know for sure is that chlorine is a harsh chemical and a strong oxidant.  And when it’s left on your skin, it might irritate your skin.

If the lingering chlorine is causing the rash, then washing away that chlorine would help with the irritation and the rash.  Using a concentrated pH-balanced vitamin C spray, like SwimSpray, is the best way to get rid of lingering chlorine.

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