Chlorine & Skin Rashes

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Some people who swim in chlorinated swimming pools get "swimming pool rashes" or chlorine rashes. This is also known as "swimmer’s itch." The same kind of rash can occur after being in a hot tub or whirlpool.

Some swimmers who swim in chlorinated swimming pools get chlorine rashes
Some swimmers who swim in chlorinated swimming pools get chlorine rashes (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Chlorine Use

It is necessary to use chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs, as chlorine kills bacteria that causes skin and health problems.

It is necessary to use chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs as chlorine kills bacteria that causes skin and health problems
It is necessary to use chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs as chlorine kills bacteria that causes skin and health problems (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Chlorine Rash

Chlorine is a skin irritant. If there is too much chlorine in the water, or if you’re repeatedly exposed to chlorinated water, a rash may develop. This rash is a type of chemical dermatitis and is caused by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. The rash can include blisters and sometimes resembles chicken pox. It can occur as long as 48 hours after exposure.

Chlorine is a skin irritant which can cause a rash if a swimmer is repeatedly exposed to chlorinated water
Chlorine is a skin irritant which can cause a rash if a swimmer is repeatedly exposed to chlorinated water (Image: defun/iStock/Getty Images)

Treatment

Stay away from chlorinated water until the skin heals, which could take up to 10 days.

Go for a walk to replace your usual swim exercises for at least 10 days
Go for a walk to replace your usual swim exercises for at least 10 days (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Prevention

Apply a lotion that’s specific to blocking the effects of chlorine.

Apply a body lotion that is specific to blocking the effects of chlorine
Apply a body lotion that is specific to blocking the effects of chlorine (Image: Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Warnings

If skin infection develops, see your doctor. Bacteria found in chlorinated water can also cause urinary tract infections, as well as infections in the eyes, ears, nose and throat.

If a skin infection develops, see your doctor
If a skin infection develops, see your doctor (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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