Chlorine & Skin Rashes

Written by lindsay pietroluongo
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Chlorine & Skin Rashes
(Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Some people who swim in chlorinated swimming pools get "swimming pool rashes" or chlorine rashes. This is also known as "swimmer’s itch." The same kind of rash can occur after being in a hot tub or whirlpool.

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Chlorine Use

It is necessary to use chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs, as chlorine kills bacteria that causes skin and health problems.

Chlorine Rash

Chlorine is a skin irritant. If there is too much chlorine in the water, or if you’re repeatedly exposed to chlorinated water, a rash may develop. This rash is a type of chemical dermatitis and is caused by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. The rash can include blisters and sometimes resembles chickenpox. It can occur as long as 48 hours after exposure.

Treatment

Stay away from chlorinated water until the skin heals, which could take up to 10 days.

Prevention

Apply a lotion that’s specific to blocking the effects of chlorine.

Warnings

If skin infection develops, see your doctor. Bacteria found in chlorinated water can also cause urinary tract infections, as well as infections in the eyes, ears, nose and throat.

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