It’s finally summer and for kids, this means no school, summer camp, long days outdoors, and swimming in chlorine filled pools! Chlorine is a very useful way to keep pools from collecting bacteria and microorganisms that are harmful to humans. It’s helps keep you safe from harmful germs while you enjoy time in the water with your family and friends. While chlorine offers a lot benefits, it’s important to keep in mind that it also comes with a host of side effects for your skin. Let’s take a look what exactly is in chlorine, the side effects it causes, and what you can do to keep your kids’ skin safe without compromising their enjoyment at the pool this summer.
So, what exactly is chlorine? Chlorine is a combination of chemicals that is put in pools to keep the water clean and healthy for people to swim in. Chlorine contains chemicals like hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion which work to kill bacteria and microorganisms in water. They do this by oxidizing the cells so they become harmless to the people exposed to them while swimming. There is no doubt that chlorine is an important way to keep you and your kids healthy and avoiding it entirely will increase the risk of getting sick.
The Effect of Chlorine on Skin
An important thing to note is that chlorine can have some negative effects on your skin. Here are the most common skin problems caused by too much chlorine exposure.
Dry Skin Because chlorine is a natural irritant, it opens up pores and strips the skin of its natural oils that keep it moisturized and healthy. Too much exposure to chlorine dries out the skin and causes irritation and itchiness. Continuous exposure to chlorine over several years can result in premature aging and can affect the skin’s health tremendously.
Rashes It is common to get rashes when exposed to chlorine for long periods of time. People can get patches of red and inflamed skin which run the risk of becoming blisters if continuously exposed to more chlorine.
Burns It is also common to get chlorine burns, caused by too much chlorine in the water than necessary. This exposure to a high concentration of the chemical can lead to blisters and painful burns.
How to Reduce Chlorine’s Effect on Skin
If you are concerned about the negative effect chlorine can have on your children’s skin this summer, here are few tips to follow.
Shower After Swimming When your children leave the pool, they take some of the chlorine along with them. After every swim, have them shower thoroughly to remove all of the chemical from their skin. The longer chlorine is on the skin, the more it will irritate it. Thorough cleaning will ensure you limit the skin’s exposure to chlorine and thus, limit its negative effects on the skin.
Use Moisturizer After swimming, make sure your kids use moisturizer to replace some of the moisture lost because the chlorine. This will help fight the skin drying effects of the chemicals.
Consult a Pediatric Dermatologist If your children experience itchiness, dry skin, burns, rashes, or blisters, see a dermatologist immediately. Skin issues should be addressed promptly to reduce damage and keep your child healthy. If you notice any skin abnormalities of any kind, see a pediatric dermatologist immediately.
If you or your children have any skin related problems, seeing a dermatologist is the first step in addressing the issues and keeping your skin healthy and thriving. The Children’s Skin Center is a pediatric and adult dermatology center that offers expert and qualified care for both you and your children. If you would like a reputable dermatologist to take care of your entire family’s dermatological needs, call (305) 669-6555 to make an appointment today or set up an appointment online.