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Chlorine Rash: Causes and Cures

Aastha Dogra Oct 27, 2018
If you go swimming on a regular basis, then you may be susceptible to what is known as chlorine rash. Here, we discuss some measures for the treatment of this skin condition, and a few tips on how to prevent it.
Chlorine rash, also known as the swimming pool rash, occurs when the skin is exposed to excess amounts of chlorine. Swimming pools are not the only place where people can contract it, swimming in rivers, lakes or bathing in hot tubs can cause such skin rashes due to this bacteria too.
Sometimes, the rash is accompanied by other symptoms, such as, difficulty in breathing, coughing, tightness in chest, a wheezing sound upon breathing and irritation in the eyes. Any or all of these symptoms may be present, when a person is exposed to chlorine.

How to Relieve Chlorine Rash

☞ A person who finds himself with a chlorine rash, should apply cold compresses to the affected area. For this, ice cubes should be kept in a towel and then pressed against the skin area for about ten minutes. Afterwards, hydrocortisone cream should be applied evenly on the skin.
Application of hydrocortisone cream will help in getting rid of the itchiness as well as redness on the affected skin area. Besides this, it is recommended to avoid any kind of skin exposure to chlorine, till the person is completely healed of the rash.
☞ As for treating the rash at home, an effective home remedy is to take bath with water to which baking soda has been added. For this, add half a cup baking soda to a bathtub in which warm water has been filled. Soak in it for fifteen minutes and then rinse with cold water.
☞ Another useful home remedy is to rub almond oil mixed with sugar over the affected area, leave on for fifteen minutes and then wash off.

How to Stay Away from Chlorine Rash

☞ To prevent chlorine rash, it is recommended that a person showers before and after taking a swim. Showering with an antibacterial soap and a chlorine removal shampoo, post swimming, will help in getting rid of any remaining chlorine on the skin and hair, which may otherwise cause a rash.
☞ If there is a particular skin area which is more prone to such a rash, applying Vaseline on the same, before taking a swim, can go a long way towards preventing the rash.
☞ Use only such public pools that maintain a record of the pH levels, as any discrepancy in the water pH levels can sometimes cause a bacterial rash.
☞ After taking a shower, post swimming, moisturizing the skin with a good quality lotion will help in preventing rashes on the face and body. Dry skin is much more prone to rashes compared to a well-moisturized and hydrated skin.
☞ There are numerous brands which have come up with pre-swimming lotions, which if applied to the skin, before entering the pool, can minimize the effects of a chlorine rash or itch. It forms a kind of protective barrier against the skin, which helps in blocking chlorine, thus preventing this skin disorder and the associated rashes, redness or itchiness.
☞ For children, there are specially designed rubber pants available in the market, which can be worn while swimming, to prevent rashes.
☞ Hot tubs should be thoroughly cleaned at regular intervals to prevent accumulation and breeding of bacteria.
Following the suggested home remedies along with the medical treatment, will clear the skin off chlorine rash within two weeks, in majority of the cases. However, if the rash refuses to go even after two weeks, a dermatologist should be contacted immediately.
If you have a really sensitive, rash-prone skin, consider wearing a full body suit as it will protect you from the chlorine and other harmful chemicals in the water. Combine this with surfer's gloves and special swimming shoes and the incidence of you getting an infection will decrease manifold!
Disclaimer: The information provided is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.