Chlorine!

New odd topic. I have never had an issue with chlorine in the past, but I am now. I spend two to three hours in the pool, four days a week, and over the past four weeks or so after a few days of training I am horribly itchy from head to toe. I have tried lotions, Swim Spray, etc. Nothing is working other than not swimming for several days. Do any of you have secret, tried and true, pre or post swim methods for dealing with this?

Comments

  • I have a friend who has started using a nose clip. He says he feels TONS better after swimming than he did without it. You may also want to ask whether the chemical balance in the pool has changed, or is in need of adjustment. A bunch of the swimmers, including me, at one pool where I used to swim started noticing lots of troubles w/ skin, hair, etc. They grew gradually over time. Turns out there was an equipment malfunction, and quite frankly, some management malfunction. Independent water testing showed that the chlorine levels were 10x the recommended levels. No wonder I stopped having to shave my legs! I also find that in the winter, for me at least, it's worse. So, after every shower, whether I was in the pool or not, I use heavy duty lotion to help w/ my skin.

    MLambyIronMikeJaimie
  • pavlicovpavlicov NYC USASenior Member
    edited December 2018

    I am allergic to chlorine. I do 2 things:

    1) I don't enter pool without a nose clip and religiously wear it for every dip under water or even breathing near the water surface (anything closer than 3 inches to the surface, I wear the nose clip).

    2) After any pool swim, I wash first with diluted ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is known to neutralize chlorine but it has very short shelf life when dissolved in the water. I buy ascorbic acid as powder on amazon (1 pound for $20 I think), and at home before the swim I put 1 spoon of the powder in a large water bottle. After the swim, I fill the water bottle with water and basically wash myself with it. Ascorbic acid makes skin very dry, so I apply lotion (when I remember - I am much less religious about that). 

    Some references for part 2):
    https://www.slideshare.net/JosephHelms/ascorbic-acid-chlorinated-waters-research-1-70441840 (pages 1-3)
    https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/html/05231301/05231301.html

    I would suggest that you first talk to the pool manager of your pool and get the list of exact chemicals and their manufacturers that they are using. It is only an assumption that chlorine is the culprit. There might be many other chemicals/issues.

    Incidentally, when I did not know that my thyroid stopped working (I am now severely hypo), at those times I became allergic to colder environment which manifested itself in terribly itchy skin everywhere. I took some allergy medication and also started thyroid hormone medication. When that happened, I could not swim because I started to itch after the swim in the pool (82F).

    MLambyJaimie
  • PasqualePasquale Antwerp (Belgium)New Member

    Hi
    I also suffer throat irritation/running nose due to chlorine, I partially solved that using a nose clip, I have to say this really helps for running nose but I also believe it reduce somehow the throat sensitivity. Recently I started to suffer skin issue known as chlorine rush, basically it starts with itchy sensation and after a while the skin becomes covered with red dots even more itchy. I think this things are results of level of chlorine some pool is better then others. I do 4 session a week of 1h to 1.5h so much less then other folks here but still I got this.. I was very scared I could not swim in a pool anymore as it was becoming worst every time. For me these itchy spot are localized in a large area around the armpit and on the sides, where I figure out my skin has more friction with the water. However I have come up with three things that seems to help to reduce the problem.

    1) before entering int the pool I apply a protection layer of Vaseline around the area
    2) I use baby soap which is very gentle and spend more time under the shower to try to clean as much as possible my skin from the chlorine after swimming
    3) After I apply a very good hydration creme

    Moreover, now If possible, I try to schedule my training each other day to avoid to many consecutive days..

    Last, I also notice some pool is much better then others... I believe many pools do not take to much care about their level of chlorine.

    In any case I am looking forward for spring to start OW swimming and I decided I will try to avoid swimming pool as much as possible on the good season...

    MLamby
  • Copelj26Copelj26 ChicagoMember

    I have similar issues (sneezing, runny nose etc.) when I exceed 2 hours in the pool, I have found though that by doing some of the sets with a snorkel and nose clip it seems to reduce my issues

  • Thanks so much for the advice so far. I think the ascorbic acid is a great piece of little known advice. There is a product out there for chlorine neutralizing called Swim Spray and....Lo and Behold....the active ingredient is....ascorbic acid. My doctor said that sounded good too! :) I also found out that my local pool did raise the level of chlorine, dropped the level of muriatic acid (replacing it with CO2 gas??), and had a soap they "weren't really supposed to be using" in the showers. I figure a nose clip, some Benadryl, some ascorbic acid wash, no shower dispenser soap, and lots of lotion will hopefully do the trick.

    Copelj26JaimiePasqualeSara_WolfpavlicovJustSwim
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I have an issue with chlorine, more in some pools than others, but when i've used a nose clip, it never seems to stay on--and it feels uncomfortable when I do have it on. Will try some of the other suggestions, though.

    MLamby
  • They do sometimes take some getting used to. You don't realize how much air exchange you're actually getting through your nose when you're swimming, until you plug the nose!

    I find that there's one brand that works for me, none of the others do. And, it took me a few to figure that out. So, maybe getting a different one might work.

    dpm50 said:
    I have an issue with chlorine, more in some pools than others, but when i've used a nose clip, it never seems to stay on--and it feels uncomfortable when I do have it on. Will try some of the other suggestions, though.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    Sara_Wolf said:

    I find that there's one brand that works for me, none of the others do. And, it took me a few to figure that out. So, maybe getting a different one might work.

    Which brand?

    MLamby

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Another option, besides the many great ones above, is to get sesame seed oil (Neutrogena) and spray it over your body as you get out of the shower. It is lighter than lotions.

    MLamby
  • Speedo.

    IronMike said:

    Sara_Wolf said:

    I find that there's one brand that works for me, none of the others do. And, it took me a few to figure that out. So, maybe getting a different one might work.

    Which brand?

    IronMike
  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    When I started swimming in a pool after many years of just occasional swim lessons, my skin felt horribly itchy- one thing that helped was going in a sauna after and sweating the stuff off. When I showered after that, I used conditioner instead of body wash, then lotion on my hands and feet.

    Of course, the day they accidentally shocked the pool and didn't say anything was the day I swam too late to shower until I got home- and found that most of my hair was burned off. Good thing I wore a cap :O

    MLamby
  • I had the same problem. Horrible iching/rash. I saw a Dr who gave me a lotion that offered some relief but no long term cure. Turned out it was the chemical balance of the pool I was swimming in at the time. I tried everyhing you tried, lotions, swim spray showers, ect.

    The fix that worked (overnight) was 20 mins in the steam room (or sauna) after each swim. Apparently it flushed the residual chemicals off and out of my skin.

    I now swim at another pool, outdoor, and have not had any issues. I still hit the sauna after swims, but not always.

    BridgetMLamby
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