Is Chlorine Good Or Bad For Eczema
Chlorine in pool water may dry out your skin. This may worsen your eczema symptoms.
On the other hand, chlorinated water may reduce the level of bacteria on your skin. This may help treat eczema.
A 2018 review of research looked at studies on bleach baths in people with eczema. The chlorine used in pools and bleach baths is the same chemical.
The review found that diluted bleach baths improve symptoms of atopic eczema, the most common type of eczema. Diluted bleach baths appeared to reduce inflammation and itching, without damaging the skin barrier. However, more research is needed to learn how bleach baths and chlorinated pool water affect eczema symptoms.
Effect Of Chlorine/chloramines On Eczema And Psoriasis
The cosmetic effect of chlorine and chloramine on the skin is similar to hard water- strips away natural oils and moisture, leading to dry skin and rashes.
However, the overall ill effects that chlorine and chloramine have on the human body seem quite troubling:
- Links to cancer through formation of cancerous compounds Trihalomethanes and Thrihaloamines
- Respiratory distress due to formation of Volatile Organic Compounds in water
- May affect healthy gut bacteria- gets absorbed by the skin easily and goes directly to the bloodstream
- Brittle hair, hair discoloration and hair fall
You can read more about the effects of chlorine and chloramine in your water, as well as how to safeguard against them in this post I wrote.
Coming back to the immediate concern, I would say that its quite probable that chlorine/chloramine could be affecting your skin. This is because almost all Governments and public water suppliers around the world use chlorination as a means of purifying water. While it has been a significant discovery and has helped stop water borne disease outbreaks, it has its clear disadvantages as well.
In some areas, chloramination has started to take over instead of chlorine, however, the effects of both on our bodies are the same.
Other Tips For Swimming With Eczema
- If you desire, have baby wear a long-sleeved rash guard and/or long swim pants in the pool, to protect more areas of babys skin that are most prone to eczema flares .
- If youre at an outdoor pool, youll need to protect babys skin from both irritants and the sun. Apply babys moisturizer an hour before the pool. Then, just before the swim, apply waterproof sunscreen thats made for children with eczema. This way, youll make sure the sunscreen will provide full protection and doesnt get diluted by the moisturizer.
- If its your first time trying out a new pool with baby, plan to spend just a few minutes in the pool at first, to see how babys skin reacts.
- After you get out of the pool, dont stay too close to the pool for too long. When baby is outside of, but near, the pool, baby could still be exposed to pool chemical fumes.
- Remember — if one pool seems to irritate babys skin, there are other options. Try another pool that could have a different chemical balance, try a saltwater pool, or have baby swim in fresh water instead.
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Chlorine Can Help Or Hurt
Chlorine is the most common disinfectant that gets added to the water in swimming pools. It can be irritating to some eczema skin, but many find that swimming in a chlorinated pool has a soothing effect thats similar to taking a bleach bath. If youre in the former group, choose a fresh-water alternative. However, if chlorine sits well with you, enjoy your time in the pool.
Making Our Hot Tub Work For Our Family
I listened to the kids and we finally slipped into the hot tub. Well, actually, we made a run for it because it was still cold outside! But the warm water of the hot tub was soothing and they had a lot of fun. When they got out, I had them all take a shower and put lotion all over. That night I didnt see a rash.
What Precautions Are Necessary For Swimming
The holidays are on their way and the itch to dive into a pool or the sea is growing. But chlorine and sea salt may irritate dry or atopic skin. With these tips and pointers, you can leave your skin problems behind in the changing room.Except during periods of flare-up, swimming is not prohibited for people with atopy. Even though the skin stings a little for the first two or three days, regular skin care quickly improve things and so allow the child to fully enjoy water sports.
How Can You Reduce Your Skins Exposure To Chlorine
In the bath
To enjoy chlorine-free water on tap, a whole house water filter is an excellent investment. You can find out more about these units here. For a cheaper, travel-friendly solution, the Rainshowr Crystal Ball Bath Dechlorinator is a hugely popular option. Simply hang the ball on the bath tap to allow incoming water to flow over it. Once your bath is full, swirl your Crystal Ball through the water for a few minutes to reduce chlorine and chloramines by 90%! The special KDF filter media inside the ball contains copper, zinc and quartz, which converts chlorine into a harmless chloride.
In the shower
To enjoy a relaxing, chlorine-free shower, you can either use a whole house water filter or one of our dedicated shower filters. Available in a variety of designs and for a range of water pressures, these portable units can be fitted in minutes and remove up to 99% of chlorine . See all of our shower filters here.
In the swimming pool
Aside from wearing a full scuba suit, its almost impossible to avoid contact with chlorine in a public swimming pool. If youre having an eczema flare-up or your skin condition is very severe, you may want to avoid swimming. The National Eczema Society suggests that, if youre swimming in an indoor pool, an emollient ointment applied before swimming can act as an effective barrier. If youre swimming outdoors, they advise applying your emollient approximately 30 minutes before your suncream, to help protect your skin against burning.
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Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group
The PWTAG Code of Practice provides pool operators with a structured plan for the technical operation of their pools. The Code ensures that pools meet quality standards that provide a healthy experience for swimmers. For this reason all UK pools are encouraged to follow it. Following the Code gives an assurance to operators and the public that a pool meets essential healthy pool operational standards. The Code is designed, among other things, to meet the health challenge of one of the greatest threats that the sector has to deal with the chlorine-resistant pathogen, Cryptosporidium.
Check with your local pool that they follow the PWTAG Code.
For more information on swimming pool water, please visit www.pwtag.org.
To obtain the information on this page in a PDF format, please download our Swimming and eczema factsheet, below.
Bromine Hot Tub Sanitizer
Bromine was a hot tub sanitizer that I didnt know much about. I had heard from people with eczema or other skin conditions that they had a good experience with a bromine system in their hot tub. I had done my own research as well and found that it is one of the preferred options for people with sensitive skin. The maintenance work required was manageable for me. It was also a budget-friendly option. Another benefit was that it doesnt give off the strong chlorine odor. Bromine gives off its own odor, but we didnt find it offensive.
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Surely Bathing In It Is Fine Right
Not only do you have to ensure your drinking water is clear of this chemical, but also your bathing water. This is because during a hot shower, the combination of the heat created with the chlorine will produce a by-product called chloroform. Chloroform is used as a solvent, in industrial applications and was previously used as an anesthetic until it was deemed too dangerous. When this chemical is created in the bath or shower, it is then inhaled by the individual, as was published in an article by Science News. What they found was an increase of chloroform in the lungs of participants after taking a 10 minute shower that displayed levels greater than the amount one would ingest from drinking 8 glasses of water from the tap.
Chlorine is also a known irritant which can strip the natural protective oils from our skin, leading to dryness and exacerbation of eczema symptoms which over time can also lead to premature aging of the skin. Additional to causing or worsening skin issues and increasing the cases of cancer, chlorine is also linked to asthma, heart problems and birth defects. For these reasons, we do not believe that drinking or bathing in chlorinated water is conducive to effective eczema treatment, or overall good health.
For some ideas on what you can do to provide treatment, help lessen the overload on your body or on the body of someone you love who is suffering from eczema, check out the rest of the site for some possible options.
How Does Swimming Affect Common Skin Conditions
When you have a skin condition, it can be confusing knowing whether it is still safe to go swimming.
For peace of mind, you should always consult your doctor or dermatologist. However, the good news is that for the majority of common skin conditions, swimming is absolutely fine.
Read on for useful information about swimming with eczema, verrucas, athletes foot and more.
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Is Salt Water Bad For Eczema
But the response of eczema sufferers to saltwater is variable: some find it soothing, others uncomfortable. There is some evidence to support the idea magnesium absorption is beneficial for the skin of eczema sufferers presumably because it makes it less dry as those using Epsom salt baths will attest.
Saltwater Can Sootheor Irritate
The effects of saltwater on eczema skin vary widely. It can be soothing for some and painful for others. If youre an experienced swimmer, you already know your body and its preferences, but if youre new to the sport, trial and error is the only way to find out how your skin will react to saltwater. Remember to rinse off and moisturize before and after swimming in any body of water, whether natural or human-made.
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Swimming And Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum contagiosum is another very common rash affecting up to 10 per cent of children and is caused by a member of the pox virus family.
This infection thrives in warm, humid environments and is transmitted easily by close bodily contact/direct skin-to-skin contact. The lesions show as small white or pink isolated domed shaped spots numbering one to 20 each with indents that gradually increase in size. Lesions often appear in a scratch and can also spread if scratched.
- Like warts, the virus often goes away after two to six months as the body rejects the virus that causes them. This can spread between children during this time by common use of towels, so sharing should be avoided, as should sharing kickboards.
- Swimming is permissible, although the spots are best covered with a waterproof plaster. However, if there are open sores or further infection it is best to stay out of the water until this is treated.
- Some doctors accelerate the healing process by freezing , scraping or application of a chemical cream such as salicylic acid, although often no specific treatment is necessary.
Precautions To Take When Swimming In The Sea
For the person with eczema, here are some extra precautions:
- Oozing wounds or open wounds may sting when they first come into contact with salt water. Know yourself, and how much your pain threshold is. For your own comfort, it makes sense to postpone the trip to the beach if you are in an eczema flare that is very inflamed and angry.
- Apply sunscreen to protect yourself from too much ultraviolet rays. Choose an all-natural product that works for you.
- Limit the duration in the sea and the sun, as being in salt water for too long can be too drying for the skin, such that the harm is greater than the benefits.
- At least do a quick shower after your swim, you should not let the salt water stay on your skin too long, to continue dehydrating it.
- Moisturise right after your shower. These are our recommended mosturisers, made of all natural ingredients.
- Everyone is different. Some people do not take to salt water well. If you are one of them, then just stick with those remedies that work.
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How Is It Treated
You can usually treat a chlorine rash with over-the-counter products. This includes corticosteroid creams, such as hydrocortisone. However, most doctors dont recommend putting hydrocortisone cream on the face as it can thin the skin or get in the mouth and eyes.
If you experience hives, you can apply a diphenhydramine cream or take a medication that contains diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl. You can also purchase body washes or lotions that remove chlorine and are designed to soothe the skin. Examples include:
Is Ocean Water Good For Eczema
Some people find salt water irritates their skin. Others find it soothing.
There is no great research that shows that ocean water is good for eczema, said Mandal, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows that salt water can help clear up eczema.
More research is needed to learn how ocean water affects eczema symptoms.
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The Effect Of Chlorine On Skin
An important thing to note is that chlorine can have some negative effects on your skin. Here are the most common skin problems caused by too much chlorine exposure.
Dry Skin Because chlorine is a natural irritant, it opens up pores and strips the skin of its natural oils that keep it moisturized and healthy. Too much exposure to chlorine dries out the skin and causes irritation and itchiness. Continuous exposure to chlorine over several years can result in premature aging and can affect the skins health tremendously.
Rashes It is common to get rashes when exposed to chlorine for long periods of time. People can get patches of red and inflamed skin which run the risk of becoming blisters if continuously exposed to more chlorine.
Burns It is also common to get chlorine burns, caused by too much chlorine in the water than necessary. This exposure to a high concentration of the chemical can lead to blisters and painful burns.
Swimming And Eczema Or Psoriasis
Swimming is perfectly fine if you suffer from eczema, provided there is no recent flare up or secondary infection.
- Shower with lukewarm water before swimming, apply cream or ointment to protect your skin.
- Have a long shower after your swim, although avoid the water being too hot. Use liberal amounts of emollient gels and when youre dry, use more cream than usual.
- Some may find chlorinated water and salt water pools irritating to their eczema. If you find this, you may find ozone pools better. However, recent evidence suggests the bleaching effect of chlorine on skin reduces bacteria and is very beneficial for eczema.
- Similarly in psoriasis, which is another common non-contagious skin condition characterised with patches or dry flaky skin , swimming is encouraged unless the plaques are infected.
- Salt water is particularly beneficial as it reduces any flaky skin improving appearance. Sunlight with outdoor swimming, combined with appropriate sun cream use can also help the condition.
- Like eczema, apply moisturising creams after swimming, particularly in chlorinated pools
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The Effects Of Pool And Salt Water On The Skin
So how about eczema and swimming pools for babies? Many environmental irritants can trigger an eczema flare up and swimming pool water is no exception. Chlorine is the most common disinfectant that is added into swimming pools and although it can be irritating to some people with eczema, many others find that it has a soothing effect. Since its a type of bleach, many eczema sufferers liken it to the soothing sensation of a diluted bleach bath, a common eczema remedy that many parents swear by! In fact, the concentration of chlorine in a bleach bath is roughly equivalent to the amount in a chlorinated swimming pool! That being said, its not uncommon for children with eczema to experience dry skin post-pool, especially if the pH of the water is raised and/or the pool water is too warm .
The Purpose Of Chlorine
Chlorine is a chemical widely used in personal and public swimming pools. Available in the form of tablets, liquid, and powder, chlorine is widely available and serves its primary purpose well.
The chemical sanitizes water in two key ways. It clarifies the water and kills the majority of the unwanted microbes that may be present in the water. And it oxidizes the pool to attach to and eliminate organic matter in the water. Chlorine also effectively inhibits the growth of algae.
This organic matter can include anything from fallen leaves to bodily wastes, including sweat, oil, and even urine or feces. If untreated, the water in a pool collects this matter and can cause significant issues. Organic material often carries germs, bacteria, and viruses that can cause water-borne infection and illness.
Chlorine effectively eliminates those contaminants. It attacks the disease-causing microorganisms that may be hanging out in the water and prepares a pool for swimming. However, that is not all the chemical does.
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