Chlorine is a widely used chemical utilized in keeping pools and hot tubs clean. On the other hand, exposure to the chemical has certain health risks that you should be familiar with.
In case of brief exposure to the skin, it can trigger skin and eye irritation. Prolonged or extensive exposure can lead to serious burns and ulcerations. The chemical can also strip away the protective oils in the skin which makes it itchy and prone to dryness.
What are the effects on the skin?
Being exposed to chlorine can result to the development of contact dermatitis or inflamed skin. This is characterized by a reddened rash along with intense itchiness as well as blisters in severe cases.
The drying effects of chlorine and water can also trigger itchiness without the accompanying rash.
What should I do if chlorine irritation occurs?
Once itchiness starts after being exposed to chlorine, the individual should move out of the pool and reduce exposure to the chemical. The rash and itchiness triggered by the chemical generally settles in 2-4 weeks.
You can apply hydrocortisone cream to lessen the itchiness. In severe instances, a doctor should be seen so that oral corticosteroids and antihistamines are prescribed to lessen the itchiness and inflammation.
Before dipping in a pool, it is recommended to apply a moisturizer on parts of the body that are prone to itchiness to lessen the irritation from exposure.
Bathe or shower thoroughly after swimming with a mild, moisturizing soap. Remember that allowing chlorine to remain on the skin after swimming will dry out the skin and make it susceptible to irritation. After a shower or bath, dab on a thick moisturizing cream to seal in the moisture.