Chlorine rash is rash on the skin when the skin is exposed to chlorine usually by contact with water containing chlorine such as in swimming. In fact it is also known by the name of swimming pool rash as most of the people into swimming report this rash. The symptoms appear in no time and also don’t take really long to heal as compared to other skin issues. The troublesome itching is the most prominent symptom of chlorine rash. As opposed to the popular perception, Chlorine is actually a harsh chemical and also a strong oxidant. If left on the skin for a long time, it can lead to extreme itching later causing rashes on the skin. In order to kill the bacteria in water the chlorine is added but some people are allergic to chlorine and might develop worse symptoms of chlorine allergy. The symptoms however differ from one person to the other.
Most often the chlorine that is added in different water bodies such as swimming pools, water parks, and hot tubs are frequently accessed by a large population increasing the chances of exposure to the chemical. Thus, people spending a lot of time in the swimming pools are most vulnerable to the rash as the chemical gets attached to the hair and skin and isn’t easily washed. This is also the reason behind the longevity of itching even after coming out of the pool. ;Later the chemical forms rashes and bumps making the area red and sensitive. A concentration of a spray of pH balanced Vitamin C is helpful to get rid of the chlorine present on the skin.
Signs and symptoms
The first and foremost symptom is the extreme itching as soon as the person comes into contact with the chemical. For some persons it might take longer depending upon the skin sensitivity and chlorine allergy. The itching may also be accompanied by pain. This could be a common experience for people who frequent pools and hot tubs. In some cases it can also make contact with the eyes and cause watery, dry, or swollen and painful eyes. In very rare cases people can also develop gastrointestinal and respiratory ailments such as problem in breathing, coughing, and sneezing. A person can also get itchy nose because of the smell of chlorine. Some other symptoms are:
- Redness and itchiness on the skin.
- Development of skin lesions or rashes.
- Scale/crust formation on the skin.
- Formation of hives with red patches or raised bumps. Hives may eventually grow in size.
- People with respiratory ailments and allergic rhinitis experience more coughing and trouble in breathing.
- Feeling of contraction in the chest
- Runny or stuffed nose.
- Sneezing and chest congestion.
Taking certain preventive steps can prevent chlorine rash. It is very important to be aware of the chemical content and amount in the water body you are accessing. Removing the swim wear right after swimming is important so that the chances of contacting the chemical reduce. Taking a bath before and after swimming is also recommended.
One of the most common treatments adopted by people to treat their rash is applying an over-the-counter cream or ointment that contains corticosteroids and provides quick relief to the itching. The affected person should also continuously use the antibacterial soap and keep the affected area clean, dry and hygienic as much as possible. Even after taking these measures if the symptoms persist or worsen then immediate medical help should be taken. It is also important to not share things such as towels, linens and clothes with the person with chlorine rash as it can be contagious. Staying away from the pool till the time the rashes don’t heal is recommended.
Swimmers specifically can reduce the chlorine exposure by using swimmers sprays. By decreasing the time spent in the pool a person can reduce chlorine exposure as well. This is largely beneficial for the skin and hair.
A skin specialist or an allergist is the best choice for testing and diagnosis of chlorine rash or sensitivity. The diagnosis is important as there can be various underlying symptoms and causes for the chlorine allergy. Allergists can be very helpful in providing immediate relief to the problem.
Some home remedies:
- In mild cases a cold compress can be helpful in reducing the swelling and redness in that area.
- You can also apply a mild topical cream or gel.
- Taking cold baths at home with vinegar or baking soda can also help to relieve the skin.
- Clinically available Aloe vera gel or freshly crushed aloe vera can also soothe the itchiness.
Chlorine Rash – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems