I thought I was allergic to chlorine, but I was researching it and I don't think that's what I'm allergic to. After I swim for about 30-60 minutes, I start becoming itchy, so showering after swimming only cuts the rash down a little bit. I took benedryl before swimming a few times, and it delayed the rash a little bit, and it wasn't as strong, but I still developed a rash. I get the rash all over; arms, stomach, legs. Chlorine allergies are supposed to be under armpits and between legs. Any idea on what it could be?
By the way: I develop a rash from sunscreen as well, and have gone swimming without sunscreen and still developed a rash. I've never developed a rash from the sun alone.
First of all is this a private pool or local city pool. That means the world of difference you know. There are other elemeints in pool sanitary cleaning then chlorine. Stuff to decompose algie etc. It could be possible there is something else in that, that is doing this to you. I would read the label on the bottle if this is your own private pool.
My son is allergic to chlorine, when we had our pool he looked like he had a sunburn every time he got out of the pool he would also have welt marks.
It eventually went away. If there's too much chlorine in the pool it can very well be the problem.
Watch out for hot tubs as well, many hot tubs have chlorine in them as well. There are other products to use in place of chlorine for hot tubs.
If this is your own pool ask the pool company what other products are available if they are available for pools as well.
As for the sunscreen it can be an ingredient in there that's adding to your rash/allergy.
My daughter who is 6 just developed this same issue! Same welted, sunburn looking rash! We use our own pool and it never bothered her before but this year it did. I don't want to keep her out of the pool all year, what do you do to enable him to swim? Did you use a certain brand of pool chemicals that are better? Thanks!
I would think this allergy is due to algaecide in the pool water. Silver and copper are used and can give serious rashes that resemble measles like appearance,also exzema and cerebral irritibility.
Also another well known irritant is bromazine also used to sterilize pool water. Often its not the chlorine but other chemicals or metals.
Once you have the problem you need to go and swim elsewhere because it will only get worse if you continue exposing yourself to the irritant.
I am so allergic to most chemicals that I can only swim in chemical free(UV sterilized)pools.
I am a Learn to Swim teacher and spend up to 3 hours in pool water at 32 degrees celcius. I have developed an itchy rash over stomach and back and is now spreading to legs and arms. I have been told I have a sensitivity to warm water and that I may need desensitising. I have just been to dr and he has never heard of this condition. Could it be true or would it be allergic reaction to the chemicals in the pool. I am bathing in pinetarsol, using Egoderm cream and anti-histamines but it will not go away and is driving me crazy.
I am sure its the chemicals in the pool that are causing your problem as its so severe. After all this would have shown up before in bathing and showers if it was a reaction to warm water only.
Ask what the pool are using to sterilize the water. If its a copper based algaecide that could be the culprit. Also you could be sensitive to chlorine or any other chemical used.
My daughter is sensitive to warm water but although she goes red for a couple of hours after exposure it does not itch or leave a permanent rash. This latter is almost always associated with pool chemicals.
This is not a good prognosis for a swim teacher I am afraid.
I started swimming in the local pool 6 months ago. In the last month I have developed a rash on several parts of my trunk - never my arms or legs. I have tried various steroid creams but it never goes completely. It is very itchy and looks like tiny pimples. Could it be the pool chemicals?
I have swum in two American pools recently and each time got a very bad outbreak of exzema. I have discovered they all use algaecide which can cause major skin irritation. However there are other irritants like chlorine and bromazine.
Once you are sensitized you will get more and more irritation each time you swim.
Many thanks for your help Serrae. I have decided to give up swimming for a month and see if the problem clears up. It is difficult here in UK to find out what they use in the public pools. No-one seems to be able to tell me so I think it best to avoid them all for a while.
Thanks for all your information, Serrae. Our pool pump/heater was not working so I wasn't in the pool/spa (3000 gal) for about 9 months. Last year I went to a dermatologist and they did all kinds of test, but obviously did not test me for pool chemicals. Just last week our pump was fixed and Bam! The itching and the rash came back. It's small raised bumps, then they turn red and dry. Arms and legs mostly. The itching is worse than any I've ever had, even poison ivy. We are draining the pool today and will attempt trial and error with remedies.
I tried loads of different chemicals in our pool and all of them gave me a problem. Bromazine,chlorine,aquasilk(worst of all for me using silver and copper ions)and in the end I bought a UV sterilizer that cleans the pool water without the use of chemicals. If the water gets a bit fuggy you are advised to use hydrogen peroxide to clear it. However in practice I have found it very difficult to buy large amouts of peroxide. Instead very occassionally I put in a half measure of chlorine.
The main problem has been algae on the pool cover. I have a smooth cover now that I can wash algae build up off. I have been using UV alone in this fashion and swim daily in the summer for over 8 years.
I only get rashes now from public/spa pools.
I hope this helps. I thought salt water pools would help me but they use algaecides which give me allergies.
Is this rash focused around each hair folical? Does it look like the hair folical is swollen and full of puss? If this is so, this could be a condition called foliculitus. Since birth I have come up with foliculitus every time I swim in main land fresh water. It is not a problem in the ocean. If the pools water is not treated correctly foliculitus could crop up. A visit to the dermatologist could solve this.
I have had this same problem but mine just started about a year ago. I could go in the hot tub without a problem, then just last year I started getting a rash when I get out of the hot tub. It starts under my arms then goes between the legs, then chest, back and stomach. So, I just thought it was from the hot tub chemicals. Until recently, I just went into a pool and got the same rash. Now I need to avoid hot tubs and pools. Ugh!! My husband also had tried the Chemfree product and I still had a reaction. I've tried everything to get it to quit itching, but nothing works. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Two questions pop into my mind. First, is the rash focused around individual hair folicules swelling? Second, is hard water being used in these hot tubs and pools. If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then I would consider seeing a dermatologist to determine whether the condition called foliculitis.
The most obvious thing is to check the pH and total alkalinity of the pool water. These readings are the most important pool readings. A low TA (below 100) will cause rashes, stinging eyes and burning skin. A low pH (below 7.0) will do the same. Its unlikely to be copper (unless they are just pouring in neat copper sulphate or similar) or silver if they are used as ions - ionized water has been shown to be beneficial to allergy sufferers. Much more likely to be basic water balance which is ignore by a lot of uninformed pool operators.
I have swam all my life in many pools and never gotten any type of reaction to the water. Our swim team switches to an outdoor pool in the summer and this last week I went back to the indoor pool which I have swam in for the past 4 years almost every day. So I was surprised when I broke out with this red rash all over my face, its fairy sized red bumbs, almost like acne, but definitely not acne...How could this just now be happening and what can i do to cure it?
I also have been suffering from analergic reaction to my pool water. I have been swimming for 46 years with no problem, but this last year gradually each dip in my pool has become worse. I checked and balanced all levels of chemicals in pool often. Everything was balanced. Even had the pool store double check my readings. Each time I would swim, I would break out in these extremely itchy bumps, that required me to constantly itch to the point that I would cause myself to bleed! Cortisone cream helped a little to ease itching. Aloe helped a little too. But the itching is always really bad the first night, then almost tolerable the next day. Showering afterwards did not help hardly at all. I just went on a 3 week trip and used salt and fresh water pools, all chlorinated, never did I get an outbreak!!!! Never a rash!!! I did not even shower afterwards, and no rash! So, now I finally realized that I must completely drain my pool and refill it. I suspect that it might be a high Phosphate level, or some other mystery level too high, like maybe copper? I dont know, and I don't care anymore!I am draining while I write this! That itching is terrible. Very simular to a poison ivy outbreak. It would get my arms the most, near inner elbow areas. Then near armpits, groin (!)and lower legs. The moment I stopped itching it would torture me to scratch again for 10 minutes. Then I would have scabbed arms and legs for a week afterwards! I stopped swimming with my 3 year old son as a result. I could just test chemical and get my arm wet, and later that arm would itch like hell! Some swear that it is chlorine that caused it. I disagree. I did a test...I would let chlorine dissapate to zero, then shock with oxygen shock (no Chlorine) then swim and itch like hell that night! Others said it might be Folliculitis, but it is not around the hair follicles that itches, it is often where there is no hair. I know I rant on, but I wanted to share my experience. I just think my pool water being in there for about 4 or 5 years, needs to be replaced. I will then add the task of testing for phosphate levels from now on too, just in case. One person said a product called Phosfree can reduce the Phosphate level. Below 100 they say is good. Bye, Jeff