The compounds that contain chlorine work by keeping hot tubs and swimming pools sanitary, but exposure to the chemical process has some health risks that you should be familiar with.
Minimal exposure of the skin to chlorine can cause eye irritation and itchy skin. As for concentrated levels, it can cause ulcerations and severe burns. It is important to note that chlorine can strip away the protective oil in the skin which causes dry and itchy skin. You can enroll in a first aid class today so that you can help ease the discomfort due to accidental exposure to chlorine.
What are the effects on the skin?
Exposure to chlorine can lead to contact dermatitis. The symptoms include red-colored rash and severe itchy skin that can even progress to blisters in severe cases. The drying effect of chlorine and water can also cause itchy skin without rashes.
What you can do
Once the individual develops itchy skin due to exposure to chlorine, he/she must get out of the pool and reduce further exposure to the chemical. The chlorine-related itchiness and rash usually subside within 2-4 weeks. In most cases, hydrocortisone creams can be used to help relieve the itchiness. In severe cases, a doctor should be consulted since oral antihistamines and corticosteroids can help relieve the itchiness and inflammation.
Considerations on your next swim
Before planning your next dip in a pool, the individual should apply a moisturizer such as petrolatum on parts of the body that are highly susceptible to itchiness in order to reduce the irritation from exposure to chlorine. Bathe or shower after swimming using a mild, moisturizing soap.
If you allow the chlorine to stay on the skin after swimming, it will dry out the skin and make it prone to irritation. After bathing or showering, always apply a thick moisturizing cream to seal in the moisture in the skin.
Indications of trouble
When a rash appears within a few days of soaking in a hot tub, it might indicate hot tub folliculitis which is a type of skin infection. Take note that hot tub folliculitis can develop once bacteria infects the skin. Even though the itchy skin and rash can be a nuisance, it can clear up without requiring treatment after a few days.
Level of chlorine
Hot tubs and swimming pools that are properly maintained are less likely to cause skin irritation such as itchy skin as well as spread germs. Pool operators are required to check the chlorine and pH levels at least twice a day. The optimal level of chlorine is 1 to 3 parts per million. As for the optimal pH level, it is between 7.2-7.8. Always makes sure that if you have a hot tub or swimming pool at home, it is properly maintained and the safety guidelines are strictly followed at all times.