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Is Pool Water Good For Eczema

The Difference Between Sea Salts And Epsom Salts

Swimming with Eczema, with Kelly Maples, MD

To brief up, Epsom salt is not actually a salt, this might give a reason as to why a single bath requires such a large amount. Epsom salt is just a compound of magnesium bonded to sulfur and oxygen.

These Epsom salts are minerals found in water that contains uniquely high levels of magnesium and sulfate. These salts share a similar structure to the table salt, and this is the case where it earned the title of a salt.

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However, dead sea salt is salt. It is 12 to 18 percent sodium chloride, leaving tons of room in its composition for magnesium, calcium, sulfur, bromide, zinc, and potassium. When the salt is heated, it creates negatively charged ions that produce a negative charge therefore, when these ions enter our body they attach to toxins and neutralize them.

Regular use of Dead Sea Salt may help improve the following:

  • Psoriasis

A second retrospective study revealed that over 1700 patients with eczema who stayed at the Dead Sea for an extended time period of over 4 weeks had clearance rates of over 95 percent.

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Atopic Dermatitis And The Swimming Pool

Swimming pools are sources of delight, fun and relaxation for most families. Swimming has a positive impact on our bodies, as it preserves the bodys kinetic and functional capacities and improves health and the quality of life. At the same time, its an incredibly entertaining activity from which nobody should be excluded and an essential skill that no child should lack. From when I was a child and a teenager, I remember big signs at the swimming pools that read: Swimming for people with skin diseases is not allowed! Not to mention the dirty looks and warnings that I received due to my skin, as you can well imagine. All of this came from the belief that each and every skin disease is contagious. Things have changed somewhat today. Its now allowed for people without contagious skin diseases to swim in the pool, which includes patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

The Truth About Ocean Water & Your Skin

Historically, ocean water has been known to cure diseases of both the body and the soul. It all began with English physicians in the late 16th-century who began endorsing the healing effects of cold ocean water to promote circulation, cure illness, and treat melancholy. Today we still think fondly of the seas healing powers for relaxation and revival of our bodies and minds. Many report improvements in various skin conditions after a dip in the ocean. Although water from the sea has multiple benefits, there are also some risks that are important to be aware of.

Lets dive deeper into the skincare benefits and dangers of the deep blue sea and how you can stay protected.

Ocean Water Benefits

Have you ever noticed how soft your skin is after a quick dive in the ocean? Or perhaps you have had an acne flare-up dissipate after a swim in the sea. Ocean water has a rich mineral content containing nutrients that our skin needs including magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium, sodium, and sulfur. The Magnesium in this mineral cocktail has been found to be especially beneficial for dry skin. Those with eczema and psoriasis have reported excellent improvements from water rich in magnesium, such as dead sea salts.

Ocean Water Dangers

Although ocean water is full of skin beneficial minerals, it also harbors some dangers. As we continue to pollute our oceans with city runoff and wastewater, the sandy beaches we enjoy are becoming more and more toxic.

Protect Yourself

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Problematic Areas For Eczema

Eczema is a disease that can be chronic or it can appear atrandom times throughout your life. If can cover a persons body or it canappear in tiny areas of the body, most commonly on the face, hands, and arms.

It appears as patchy dry spots on the skin but can becomered and irritated. It is usually itchy and can weep with fluid once the itchbegins. It can appear in breakouts and subside over a period of weeks, or itcan be a stubborn minor spot on the skin that lasts for months.

If you suffer from infrequent eczema, it probably has little effect on your life. If you suffer from chronic eczema, the disease can scar the skin, cause infections, and affect your confidence, relationships, and mood.

For what seems to be a minor, superficial issue, eczema can really affect your quality of life I should know, Ive suffered from eczema for my entire life.

Eczema And Swimming Pools

Health Check: why swimming in the sea is good for you

Swimming pools need to be kept in a safe and hygienic state. Thats why chlorine, a powerful disinfectant, is added. But what effect does chlorine have on eczema-prone skin? Can you get eczema from chlorine? As everyones skin is different, not everyone with eczema will experience the same reaction to chlorine. Its possible that some people may experience irritant contact dermatitis which is when the body reacts to contact with an external substance, such as chlorine water. For other people, pH level can affect skin dryness. Properly treated pool water has a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8, making it slightly alkaline. Skin is naturally more acidic. The alkaline nature of swimming pool water can make the skin drier and more sensitive.

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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

To obtain the information on this page in a PDF format, please download our Swimming and eczema factsheet, below.

Theres A Right Way And Wrong Way To Bathe And Shower

  • A hot shower or bath can be tempting after a vigorous swim. Your muscles may love that sensation, but if you have eczema, your skin probably wont agree. Start with a lukewarm shower and gradually make it cooler.
  • Many people with moderate to severe eczema swear by bleach baths. The concentration of chlorine in a bleach bath is roughly equivalent to the amount in a chlorinated swimming pool, so you can get clean while getting an additional dose of chlorines anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties.
  • If youre sensitive to chlorine bleach, try an apple cider vinegar bath instead. Or try adding oatmeal, baking soda, bath oil or salt to your bathwater. While not universally effective, these variations on the bathing theme work well for some people with eczema.

The above guidelines apply to swimmers of every age and with all types of eczema, with the exception of young infants. Consult your pediatric dermatologist for expert guidance about how to protect your infants eczema skin at the pool, lake or beach.

Swimming is summers go-to activity, so take care of the skin youre inbefore, during and after you take the plunge.

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Can A Saltwater Pool Help Treat Eczema

Saltwater pools are becoming quite popular for a variety of reasons. They minimize the use of harsh chemicals, they are easy to maintain, and above all, they provide a number of health benefits that traditional pools simply do not. One of the benefits of swimming in saltwater is that it can be very beneficial for your skin, especially for those people suffering from eczema. Below are some of the ways that a saltwater pool can help treat eczema.

Before we get into the reasons how and why saltwater is good for people with eczema, it is important to note that extended periods of time submerged in saltwater, regardless of your skin condition, is likely to be incredibly drying, and is not something that you want to do on a daily basis. Short, controlled dips in a saltwater pool, however, do provide some benefits for people with eczema. You should also make sure that the salt levels in the pool are properly balanced, whether it is your pool, or it belongs to someone else.

Saltwater is Antiseptic

The salt in seawater has antiseptic properties which are capable of reducing the risk of infections, which, as anyone with, or who has a child with eczema knows, is one of the more irritating things you have to deal with when you have the skin disorder. A dip in a saltwater pool can help cleanse the skin and mitigate the potential for infection.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Softening and Moisturizing

Soft Water Helps Your Skin And Hair Feel Soft After Bathing But What About Itchy Skin Rashes

Can Children with Eczema Swim in the Sea or a Swimming Pool?

As a child, perhaps you remember being down the Shore and your parents telling you that salt water was good for any skin ailments or rashes that you had. The salt water seemed to speed up the healing process and reduce itching and redness.

Since water softeners utilize salt to reduce hardness, what are the chances that bathing with it can improve skin conditions such as atopic eczema, psoriasis and other skin abrasions and rashes?

Theres not a lot of research available to prove its efficacy, however a couple of studies conducted in the U.K. indicated that softened water may show positive results for some children with eczema. One study was conducted in areas of the country that were notorious for hard water. Of the over 350 families who qualified, 29 were given use of a water softener for 12 weeks and then were followed up with on a monthly basis to measure the results. Their answers showed:

  • 91% recorded less itchiness
  • 83% maintained that the water softener reduced the severity of their childs eczema
  • of the 78% regularly applying emollients or steroid cream, 67% were using less.

Perhaps more convincingly, at the end of the study, two-thirds of the families opted to purchase the water softeners. Ask your dermatologist if he or she thinks softer water could help improve your irritation.

Also Check: Best Itch Relief Cream For Eczema

Are There Ways To Protect My Babys Eczema Skin When Swimming What Precautions Should I Take For My Eczema Child Swimming

Tips for protecting your eczema baby:

After a day at the beach or pool, your child will most likely be tired and ready for good night sleep. Give them a good bath or shower to thoroughly wash off and reapply your favorite moisturizer. Cover the moisturizer with Soothems eczema sleepwear with Zinc Oxide and read them Search for a Smile in the Moon for a good nights sleep. The culmination of taking these simple tips for protecting your childs eczema at the beach or pool and getting a good night sleep with help reduce stress and speed the recovery of your babys eczema.

Despite These Positives Benefits Of Swimming There Are A Lot Of Legitimate Concerns And Realities About Taking A Child With Eczema Swimming:

  • Pool: Is Chlorinated Water Good for Eczema?

Swimming in a chlorinated pool can help irritated skin because the chlorine will kill the bacteria that develops an infection. Too much chlorine in a pool can make the skin dry, red, and aggravated though. The National Eczema Society of the UK advises parents to avoid taking children with eczema swimming if their eczema skin rash is flaring badly and already red, flaky, oozing and infected. And if in doubt about whether to allow a child with eczema to swim in a pool, try to find out how much and when was chlorine last added at the pool.

  • Beach: Is Salt-Water Good for Eczema?

Saltwater can be soothing and beneficial to eczema rashes because of the natural antiseptic properties that can help reduce the risk of infection and help open and weeping eczema sores heal. Saltwater also has many natural minerals that can act as an anti-inflammatory to relieve itching and help skin moisturize. But for some infants and children with exceptionally sensitive eczema skin saltwater can also sting if there are weeping and broken skin lesions on the eczema skin.

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Is A Salt Water Pool Good For Eczema

Is a salt water pool good for eczema? From eczema to psoriasis, salt water can have a soothing impact on common skin conditions. Often, people who suffer from these ailments find that swimming in a salt water pool helps reduce their symptoms and gives them clearer skin, with fewer rashes and bumps.

Does pool water make eczema worse? After swimming, it is imperative that you rinse your childs skin completely. Leaving chlorinated water on the skin can dry it out, which can make eczema flare-ups worse.

Are saltwater pools good for your skin? Saltwater, however, is naturally good for the skin. After a dip in a salt water pool, your skin will be left feeling smoother and softer. Salt water is good for certain skin disorders like eczema and acne. It is a natural exfoliant and moisturizer so it helps our skin to retain more moisture.

Is it cheaper to build your own pool? After some discussion on pool size and shape, I can always say that, as a rule of thumb you will typically save half of what it would cost to have the pool installed by a local pool contractor.

Ocean Water And Eczema

Chlorine &  Eczema

Salt water, whether from the ocean or used to fill a swimming pool, can either cause dry, itchy, and irritated skin or it can soothe the skin. The way your skin reacts to the salt water depends on the severity of your eczema.

Currently, there is only anecdotal evidence on the benefits of salt water for those with eczema. More research is needed.

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What To Know Before Taking Your Eczema Child To The Pool Or Beach

Before taking the plunge this summer with your childs eczema we will address these topics and offer tips for the entire family to enjoy a summer of fun at the pool or beach:

  • Does swimming increase or decrease eczema symptoms?
  • Is chlorinated pool water better than saltwater for a child suffering from an eczema flare- up?
  • What should I do for a child with eczema to go swimming? Are there ways to protect my babys eczema skin when swimming?
  • 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.

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    Locate A Sunscreen That Doesnt Irritate

    While trying to protect sensitive skin from sunburn, some people find that sunscreen can set off an eczema reaction. Before spending a day at the beach, its a good idea to locate a moisturizer that can be applied before putting on sunscreen and a sunscreen that your skin will tolerate. The moisturizer helps create a barrier between your skin and the sunscreen and both can help reduce your skins interaction with the chlorinated water you might be swimming in.

    Barrier Creams And Clothing For Swimming


    Applying a barrier cream or ointment to your skin before swimming may help protect and moisturize it.

    Skin barrier creams are very effective for eczema because they are infused with lipids and ceramides. These are naturally occurring substances on normal, healthy skin, said Mandal.

    These substances help lock in moisture and allow eczematous skin to heal faster. They also decrease itching and dryness, she continued.

    According to Mandal, examples of good barrier creams include:

    • Dermalogica UltraCalming Barrier Repair Cream
    • Aquaphor Healing Ointment
    • Mustela Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion
    • CeraVe Healing Ointment

    Its also important to protect your skin from sun damage when you swim outdoors. Wearing sunscreen helps prevent sun damage. So does wearing clothing or a swimsuit with built-in ultraviolet protection.

    If you have eczematous skin, then make sure to cover up with UV-protective clothing that has a UPF rating of 50+, said Mandal.

    Take a bath or shower when youre done swimming. Use cool or lukewarm water rather than hot water. Gently pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizing cream or ointment to it.

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    What Are The Minerals In The Dead Sea

    Skin is our largest organ and we often take it for granted.It works miracles with its ability to heal itself. Skin will completely regenerate itself in 27days!

    Because its so visible, skin one of the main factors of beauty and we spare no expense to make it look great. We spend billions of dollars each year to keep it supple, repair scars, hydrate it, and make it shine.

    For these reasons, it makes sense that people are willing totravel 1000s of miles to soak in the healing properties of the Dead Sea. Lets take a look at what makes the mineral inthe Dead Sea so special.

    Magnesium the mineral is known to enhance the permeability barrier repair of skin. It binds with water and affects epidermal proliferation and differentiation. This mineral is essential is assisting the skin to heal itself.

    Calcium helps with bone health, teeth and organs including the skin where it acts as a regulator for some its functions

    Chloride and Bromide

    Sodium helps retain moisture

    Potassium this cant be absorbed by the skin but it can help improve the feel and moisture of the skin.

    In a well-cited study, researchers found that bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic, dry skin.

    In general, salts help the body hold onto water and as a result can help with hydration. This is the same reason electrolytes are recommended after strenuous activity or after significant fluid loss.


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