Skin Care for Swimmers: Preventing Dry Skin and Rash

skin-care-for-swimmersSkin care for swimmers isn’t just something watersports athletes need to pay attention to. Anyone who swims, whether it’s habitually, occasionally, or any frequency in between, should take the time to understand what their time in the water is doing to their skin. It’s just another important aspect of summer skin care. 

The chemicals in pools are very useful in helping to keep the amount of swimming pool bacteria under control, but the skin reaction to chlorine, a very commonly used swimming pool chemical, doesn’t exactly leave swimmers with healthy skin. In fact, it’s very odd indeed that so many worry about getting swimmer’s hair and try to protect their hair against the side effects of chlorine but pay hardly any attention to the effects of swimming pool chlorine on skin. Most never even stop to ask is chlorine bad for skin. 

Beach goers aren’t exempt from the concerns of skin care for swimmers. The water in oceans, rivers, and lakes may not be the same as chlorinated pool water, but that doesn’t make these popular swimming spots an effective escape from the effects of chlorine in pool water.  Natural bodies of water can still be loaded with chemicals that impact skin health. 

It should also be noted that using chlorine-free pool chemicals, swimming in a swimming pool without chemicals, doing a salt water pool conversion, or even switching to a fresh water pool is simply not effective swimming skin care. Those who want to reap the benefits of wisely incorporating effective skin care for swimmers into their summer skin care routine should keep reading.

Understanding the Skin Reaction to Chlorine in Swimming Pools

Chlorine is the main ingredient in bleach. On every bottle of bleach is a warning label that warns against having the skin exposed to this chemical. Thanks to chlorine, bleach irritates skin, but the chemical is also very powerful in killing germs and keeping them under control. The germ-fighting properties of chlorine makes it the popular pick for treating swimming pool water, but the skin reaction to chlorine is one of the things that makes skin care for swimmers such an important focus. 

Chlorine is bad for skin and the rest of the body. Direct exposure to skin can cause chemical burns and the chlorine effects on hair are utterly disastrous, causing hair to become weak, brittle, and break. 

When there’s an obvious chlorine burn on the skin, or one experiences hair loss after swimming, they deal with the problem and then take preventative measure to ensure they won’t encounter another issue with chlorine. However, the effects of chlorine on skin when it is used as a swimming pool chemical isn’t always so detectible. 

Swimmers who are chlorine sensitive will notice problems immediately, experiencing a rash and itching. Yet many swimmers who suffer from dry skin don’t even realize that they’re getting their dry skin from swimming pool water.  Much like sun damage, skin problems from chlorinated water develop deceptively slow and gradually. 

It’s a proven, but little-known fact that premature aging happens to be one of the notorious and unwanted effects of chlorine in pool water. The skin reaction to chlorine comes, in part, from the way this chemical strips away the skin’s natural oils, causing it to become dry and also causing the development of fine lines and wrinkles, which is a common sign of aging. 

Perhaps now you’re beginning to understand why skin care for swimmers is so vital. When summertime comes, many become eager to get into the pool. The skin problems that can come from being in chlorinated pool water doesn’t mean that you have to skip swimming, but it does mean that swimming and skin care must go hand-in-hand. 

In fact, getting away from the issue isn’t as easy as avoiding the pool, as even tap water is chlorinated. Many people handle cleaning products that contain chlorine. Any skin exposure to chlorine will result in the above mentioned problems if the proper precautions and care aren’t taken. However, the issue it especially important to swimmers because they’re submerging their entire bodies into chlorinated pool water. The level of chlorine in pool water is usually much higher than in tap. 

This is one of the reasons to make sure you only swim in a pool that is maintenance by someone you’re sure knows how to treat a pool with chemicals appropriately. If you get into a pool that’s been maintenance by someone that doesn’t know how to treat pool water, then you’ll be putting your skin and overall health at high risk. Getting pool water just right is a science that’s best left up to the professionals. 

salt water on skin

Is Saltwater Good for Skin?

Many beach-goers concentrate the focus of their summer skin care on tanning and UV ray protection. For quite a number of them, rarely do concerns over the specifics of skin care for swimmers cross their minds, although they may spend quite a bit of time in the water. Part of the problem is that they think the natural bodies of water are safer for their skin than swimming pools. The other part is that it just doesn’t dawn on them. 

Then there are those who always prefer swimming at the beach to swimming in a pool because they’ve heard that salt water on skin is very good. They hear of skin care professionals using sea salt on skin during spa treatments and assume that ocean swimming is safe as far as swimming skin care is concerned. 

It’s true that swimming in seawater offers many important health benefits. It helps to relieve stress, reduces inflammation, and can even help skin retain its moisture thanks to the amount of magnesium that’s in the water. In fact, swimming in the sea gives the body access to all the many rich, health-boosting vitamins and minerals the ocean contains, but it can also cause acne, eczema flare-ups, and other skin problems. 

There is no one set answer for those who ask is swimming in salt water good for you. The effects of salt water on skin can vary for each individual. When it comes to salt water swimming and skin care, there are both pros and cons. It’s best to just use a swimming skin care routine that allows you to avoid the disadvantages and reap all the benefits. 

Enjoying Summer Swimming and Beautiful Skin

You may not be able to control the swimming pool chemicals or the chemicals in seawater, but you can integrate some smart strategies for swimming skin care into your summer skin care routine and protect your skin. There things all swimmers should do to take care of their skin, whether they’re swimming in a swimming pool or diving into the salty ocean water. 

Internal and external proper hydration is the highest priority. Be sure to drink water before you go swimming, at intervals during extended swimming sessions, and after you’re done for the day. The same thing goes with moisture. Be sure to moisturize both before and after you swim. Of course, everybody’s skin reacts differently to the water they swim in. These are just a few rules of thumb that all swimmers should abide by. A Nefertari skin care consultation can provide you with a more customized plan for skincare for swimmers. 

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