Chlorine Rash Definition :-Chlorine Rash is a skin rash that often occurs when a person is exposed to chlorine or comes in contact with chlorine.
What is a Chlorine Rash?
Chlorine rash or a swimming pool rash is a skin condition that is caused by direct exposure to chlorine, especially in swimming pools. A chlorine rash generally develops in just a few hours after exposure to chlorine and does not take much time to build up. The starting point of this rash is acute itching. The rash fades away in a few days.
Since chlorine is a tough chemical and strong oxidant and is therefore used not only in swimming pools but also various other places as an anti-bacterial disinfectant solution. A person can cultivate chlorine allergy which can lead to symptoms like chlorine rash. There are other symptoms that accompany skin rashes in case of chlorine allergy and you will get to know more about them in the later part of this article.
What does a Chlorine Rash look like?
Chlorine rash is often visible as small bunched bumps on the skin. If the exposure to chlorine is direct, then the rashes will be widespread and can be found on more than one part of the body and in case the exposure is less, the rashes will be seen in less number. In case of very high exposure to chlorine, there can be appearance of severe burns, blisters and ulcerations on the skin. This extreme irritation can also extend to the eyes and result in deep red eyes and swollen eye lids.
What are the causes of Chlorine Rash?
The leading cause of a chlorine rash is exposure to chlorine which can take place in more than one ways:
Swimming Pool :- Chlorine is added to the water of a swimming pool in order to keep it clean as chlorine acts like a disinfectant. Swimmers often get exposed to high levels on chlorine after prolonged swimming activity which leads to development of chlorine rash on their bodies.
Water Activities in Recreation Parks :-Since a lot of people use swimming pool and water tubs in recreation parks or water parks every day, chlorine is seldom added to the water to keep it clean and free from harmful micro-organisms. Exposure to chlorine present in this water can cause chlorine rash in people of all age groups.
Occupational Exposure :-There are several jobs which pose an increased risk of development of chlorine rash. Some of these jobs are:
- Spring-cleaning of swimming pools
- Bleaching of clothes
- Water treatment plants
- Chlorine production units
What are the symptoms of Chlorine Rash?
As soon as the body is exposed to chemical chlorine, pink or light red colour rashes may appear on the skin and are often very itchy. This itching can increase with time and develop into painful blisters in extreme cases. Development of skin rash and itching are the main symptoms of a chlorine rash, but there are several other symptoms that can be seen in case of patients with chlorine allergy:-
Irritation in eyes :-The patient can feel a constant urge to itch or scratch the eye. Other characteristics changes in the eyes like those mentioned below can also be clearly seen:
- Redness of the eyes
- Distension on the eye lids
- Continuous production of tears
- Blurred vision
Dryness of the skin :-The skin can become dry, flaky and extremely itchy due the loss of natural oils from the body as a result of exposure to chlorine. In some cases, the itching and dryness is so bad that it finally leads to shedding of the skin.
Coughing and Sneezing :- As the nasal receptors become active in order to block the dangerous chemical from entering the body through the nasal passage, the person can experience bouts of cough and sneezing as a result of irritation of the nasal passage.
Digestive System Issues :- Exposure to chlorine can affect the digest system adversely and result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. The patient may also experience acid reflux, heartburn, hiccups and severe acidity if exposed to very high amounts of chlorine.
Respiratory System Issues :- Exposure to chlorine can harm the respiratory system as well. The patient may experience shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, choked feeling, chest contraction or chest pain. The symptoms are worse in case of patients with asthma and immediate medical attention or hospitalization is required in such cases. Chlorine exposure can also lead to inflammation of the bronchi or sore throat.
How is a Chlorine Rash diagnosed?
If you have the slightest hint that the skin rash that has developed on your body is chlorine rash, then you must consult a dermatologist (skin specialist) or allergy expert. They are the best choice of detecting a chlorine rash and have the right knowledge to treat it. In most of the cases, a chlorine rash can be determined clearly by checking the rash thoroughly in the presence of light.
What is the treatment for Chlorine Rash?
There are some fixed course of treatments and medications that your doctor will recommend, if you are suffering from a chlorine rash. Checkout the list of suggested treatments below for more information:
Anti-bacterial Soaps :- As the skin becomes dry and flaky due the elimination of natural oils from the body, it becomes highly susceptible to bacterial skin infections. To avoid this, the doctor will recommend the use of anti-bacterial soaps to keep the skin free from bacteria.
Corticosteroids :- These are really helpful in decreasing inflammation and providing relief from itching to some extent.
Anti-itch creams and lotions :- These creams and lotions mostly contain camphor and menthol and are a great source of relief from itching.
Eye Drops :- If the exposure to chlorine was high and your eyes have also been affected, your doctor may prescribe eye drops to decrease redness and itching in the eyes.
Anti-Histamines :- These medicines are high recommended to get over allergic reactions due to chlorine exposure.
What are the home remedies for dealing with Chlorine Rash?
Below are certain tried and tested home remedies that can help you get rid of the itching and irritating chlorine rash:
Vinegar :- Apply vinegar to the skin area covered by chlorine rash; it can help in reducing inflammation and decreasing itchiness.
Aloe Vera :- This comes very handy in dealing with skin dryness and flaking in extreme cases of chlorine rash. Apply Aloe Vera gel to help your skin restore its sheen and texture.
Cold Compress :- Apply cold compress on the affected area 3-4 times a day to reduce inflammation, redness and itching.
Chlorine Rash Pictures :-
- Chlorine Rash in Cheek Photo Pic Credit :- healthylifemed.com
- Rash Covering Major part on the back Picture :- Pic Credit : healthool.com
- Chlorine rash on Stomach Pic Credit : mrdoctor.org