Hypochlorous acid, or simply “chlorine”, is a necessary part of your pool’s standard maintenance regimen. The chlorine molecule is responsible for killing microorganisms in your pool’s water and preventing the spread of bacteria. It is distributed in tablet, granular, or liquid form. Though chlorine is essential for the health of your pool, chlorine sensitivity could prevent swimmers from enjoying a dip along with everyone else. This is all you need to know about chlorine sensitivity.
Who is affected
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, chlorine sensitivity is linked to frequent exposure and is, therefore, more commonly found in swimming athletes, lifeguards, and pool cleaners. It can also affect people with hypersensitive skin, or those prone to allergies. Occasional swimmers could also be afflicted if the pool has recently increased its chlorine levels in response to a health risk.
Chlorine sensitivity manifested on the skin is similar to a chemical burn. It can cause itchy red patches in areas where chlorine has contacted the skin. It can also produce bumpy, inflamed areas that resemble hives. If chlorine dries on the skin, it can further aggravate an ongoing case of dermatitis and cause increased flakiness and irritation.
Poorly balanced chemical levels can lead to high amounts of chloramines in the water, which can cause red, itchy eyes.
Frequent swimming and inhalation of chlorine fumes may also affect the respiratory tract, which can exacerbate allergy symptoms and asthma.
To treat a chlorine reaction on the skin, thoroughly wash the affected area with clean water. Use an ice pack or cold compress to soothe inflammation. An effective at-home remedy is a baking soda bath, which helps alleviate any lingering chemical irritation. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor for help.
To help chlorine-sensitive swimmers, be sure that the chemical levels in your pool are always properly balanced. If indoors, keep the room well-ventilated, to prevent fumes from building up. Treat chlorine as any other dangerous chemical: always wear proper safety gear when handling it, and immediately wash any part of your skin that comes in direct contact with it.
Don’t let chlorine sensitivity take the fun out of your pool. Contact us for more tips and information on proper pool maintenance and care.