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The effects of chlorine on the skin: how to avoid irritation and mycosis in the pool

Woman in the swimming pool

Sports and swimming enthusiasts know that it is important to follow specific behaviors to protect the skin from chlorine irritation. Let’s see what needs to be done.

Those who frequent a swimming pool know well that chlorine allows the water in the lanes to be kept clean and disinfected , but in some cases chlorine can cause skin irritation. In fact, the relationship between our skin tissue and chlorine is love and hate.

This is because, if on the one hand this substance guarantees control over bacteria, on the other it attacks the protective layer of the skin . Therefore the action of chlorine could irritate the skin, causing many discomforts. But the risks that lurk in the pool don’t end there.

In fact, when you spend a lot of time in the tub, or you walk barefoot by the pool, you run the risk of contracting a mycosis , or mushrooms. So let’s see what the effects of fungi and chlorine are on the skin and how you can protect yourself.

Chlorine on the skin: the most serious irritations

As we have anticipated, skin and chlorine are not real antagonists, also because the latter helps to keep the pool water as clean as possible. To prevent skin reactions or other discomforts from occurring, which may also affect the hair , the chlorine level has been set by law.

Chlorine skin irritation
Chlorine skin irritation

However, it must be remembered that the effects of chlorine on the skin become serious only if you spend a lot of time in the tank , thus exposing the skin to a more massive action of chlorine.

In these situations, it is very likely that, precisely because of chlorine, the skin becomes dry, loses elasticity or becomes irritated. This is possible because the lipid layer that protects the skin, if exposed for too long to aggressive agents, also undergoes changes in the pH level.

The consequence, in addition to chlorine irritation, may be the appearance of warts, mycoses or fungi , indicating that the skin no longer maintains its optimal protective conditions. But is it possible to protect one’s skin from chlorine?

Obviously the answer is yes, but only if you follow some behaviors carefully. First of all it is essential to take a shower as soon as you get out of the swimming pool, in order to wash away the residual chlorine from the skin. Better with warm water because too high a temperature would end up dehydrating the skin .

It is very important to choose the detergent well, which obviously must not be too aggressive. Then the advice is to dry the skin, better if using terry towels because, unlike microfiber, they dry the skin better and avoid dehydration.

Finally, it is essential to rehydrate the skin using a specific body cream, preferably with a natural base, such as those with shea butter or macadamia . In fact, these elements nourish the skin in depth, restoring its natural degree of protection.

Chlorine allergy

In more severe cases, and in subjects with particularly sensitive skin, a real allergy to chlorine can develop, which gives rise to various symptoms on the skin. Skin rashes, persistent redness, chapped skin , itching or even eczema are just some of the problems found in a chlorine allergy.

This particular allergy can also affect the eyes, with redness, excessive tearing and conjunctivitis , or even cause respiratory problems. If you want to protect your skin from chlorine, and avoid the risks of allergy, know that in this case too there are solutions.

Obviously the most obvious is to avoid going to places where chlorine abounds. However, if you can’t do without the pool, you can still alleviate the symptoms of chlorine allergy .

For example, you can choose an uncrowded pool, the fewer people there will be the lower the chlorine percentages. Other good habits are to rinse before and after entering the pool, or to prefer the use of slippers for all movements.

This also prevents the dreaded pool mycosis. Finally, it is essential to always wear a cap and goggles , to better protect areas particularly sensitive to the action of chlorine.

Woman in the swimming pool
Woman in the swimming pool

Chlorine on the skin: how to protect yourself in the pool?

Another great risk we are exposed to when we go to a swimming pool, besides chlorine irritation to the skin, is mycosis. In fact, in a hot and humid environment such as swimming pools, fungi proliferate very easily and one of the best ways to combat them is chlorine.

However in very crowded pools the action of the disinfectant is weakened and the most sensitive people could contract a mycosis. Don’t worry because protecting yourself is simpler than you might think.

In fact, just dry carefully, focusing on the most hidden parts. Also, as we said for chlorine skin irritations, it is always better to use terry robes or towels .

This is because they allow the skin to dry better, preventing it from dehydrating or remaining moist, thus allowing the proliferation of fungi. There are, however, cases in which mycoses occur very frequently and to avoid this annoying phenomenon just apply salicylic acid and sulfur based creams .

These products prevent the appearance of fungi, but if the diagnosis is made by a dermatologist, it will be necessary to undergo more targeted and specific treatments .

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