Going swimming in pools with chlorine and other bacteria reducing chemicals is drying to the skin in general. However, it is extra drying to those suffering from severe dry skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Here are a few key tips to enjoying swimming in chlorine water while having eczema. With these tips you can enjoy this beautiful weather. If you’re at home in your personal pool, out safely at someone else’s pool or even a community pool be careful taking care of the largest organ of the body which is our skin. Pool water with chlorine can trigger an eczema flare so be careful by being prepared.
Hydration is always key when it comes to managing eczema. You want to make sure your body is hydrated internally before and after swimming. Some people may not know this, but we sweat when swimming so that’s why drinking water before and after is so important. Becoming dehydrated can cause eczema flare ups.
About an hour or so before swimming, make sure to moisturize your skin with a thick cream or lotion. Apply sunscreen thirty minutes later. This will help the sunscreen from becoming diluted and not providing any protection. Shower immediately after swimming and moisturize your skin again with a thick cream or lotion. Here’s a little tip. If you leave your skin damp after showering and then apply your cream or moisturizer, this will help lock in more water in your skin. Also, when showering do not use extremely hot water. Please believe me I know how good it feels but speaking from experience the hot water dries the skin out more. When showering or bathing as tempting as it is no extreme hot water. Use warm water only please. Your skin will thank you and you will notice a difference in your skin.
Swimming in chlorine can be a blessing or a curse to those with eczema. It is highly known a lot of people with eczema really enjoy swimming in pools with chlorine. If you have eczema and enjoy taking bleach bath, then swimming it chlorine can be very soothing to the skin for those with eczema. However, some people chlorine causes irritation to their eczema then I would suggest swimming in fresh water or chlorinated salt water.
If you have an active severe eczema flare going on, any open sores, raw skin, or any oozing skin secretions, please do not get in a pool with chlorine. We don’t want to be out here purposely causing skin infections. That’s why swimming in fresh water or even salt water chlorinated pools are other options. If you are not sure about getting in chlorine swimming water or saltwater chlorinated pools, test a small portion of your skin to see how it reacts. Another helpful tip to help with eczema flare ups is adding apple cider vinegar to your bath if you cannot tolerate bleach in your bath water. Be safe and enjoy swimming.
Kayshaun Brooks, BSM
Owner of Renew You Body Butters
Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt