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ann1215
January 10th, 2012, 11:40 AM
Just recently, I have increased my swimming to several times per week.:) Suddenly the skin of my neck and chest are getting really itchy the day after swimming. :badday:I have tried slathering baby oil on it before swimming and although it helps somewhat, it hasn't solved the problem. Do any of you have good experiences with some of the other swimmer's protection products that are out there?

ElaineK
January 10th, 2012, 02:04 PM
Just recently, I have increased my swimming to several times per week.:) Suddenly the skin of my neck and chest are getting really itchy the day after swimming. :badday:I have tried slathering baby oil on it before swimming and although it helps somewhat, it hasn't solved the problem. Do any of you have good experiences with some of the other swimmer's protection products that are out there?

Before: Vaseline on areas where there is chafing from your suit
After: Use Cetaphil cream, after showering.

Redbird Alum
January 10th, 2012, 04:35 PM
Chlorine will pretty much strip off any "pre-swim" protection you can come up with if you're spending any time in the pool.

Make sure you rinse with fresh water as soon as possible after exiting the pool, preferably while you are still warm and your pores are open. Sounds really basic, but there you are.

swimlong
January 10th, 2012, 10:13 PM
I find using a loofah to exfoliate after a swim, plus using moisturizer all over my body, helps. It also helps to avoid hot showers - keep the temperature to lukewarm or warm at the most.

Sojerz
January 10th, 2012, 10:55 PM
Chlorine is a heavy duty disinfectant that kills pathogenic cells by oxidizing their cell wall. The cell wall splits open and that causes the microbe to die. It will oxidize other things too, including non-pathogenic cells (skin and hair cells), organic oils on your skin, and inorganic materials too. The amount of contact time, chlorine concentration, the presence of other dissoved organic and inrogagic compounds, temprerature, pH and probably other factors I'm forgetting impact chlorine's effectiveness as an oxidant. Check to see if your pool is over using chlorine as that may be why it's burning your skin.

Chlorine's oxidation is realtively slow as compared to rapid oxidation from say fire. To stop chlorine from continuing to oxidize your skin, wash it off as soon as you can in a shower after swimming and use a body wash designed to remove residula chlorine from your skin, wear a cap to protect your hair, and use shampoo designed to remove chlorine from your hair.

The natural oils on your skin and hair buffer them from chlorine oxidation, but as I've gotten older :cane: there is less oil and less protection. I started using Tri-Swim body wash and tri- swim shampoo and now wear a cap. This seems to help. Applying a good skin lotion after swimming helps your skin repair itself and relube your dried skin.

Applying vasoline or other skin products before swimming may help increase the buffer against oxidation by providing a relatively temporary barrier. However, some dissolved organic compounds (especially organic acids) serve as precursors for the formation of undesirable chlorinated organic disinfectant byproducts (DBPs), and may also use-up some of the free chlorine in pool water that would otherwise be available for disinfection, thus requiring the additon of more chlorine. I'm not sure if skin products contribute DBP precursors, but think that could be the case (my experience is with drinking water and natural oragnic materials) ? In general, it's best for pool chemistry and public health to shower and remove as much sweat, oil and organic material as possilbe from your skin before you enter the pool (see DBP article in the most recent USMS Swimmer magazine) to minimize the organic material avaialble in pool water for formation of DBPs.

Cyd Thomas
February 25th, 2012, 04:04 PM
I have developed that problem, too. Several things that help me manage my situation:
1. Check your shampoo to see if ingredients have changed. I used Paul Mitchell and when I started itching like crazy, I discovered that they had added a flower essence to the ingredients!
2. Cera Ve body cream is great. I put it on after swimming and it lasts about 24 hours.
3. If you are getting hives, too, try Alegra and Zyrtec.

Itching stinks! Hope this will help.

Bobinator
February 25th, 2012, 05:24 PM
I like Cera V stuff, and they are one of our USMS sponsors!!!!! The cream works great. I'm from Indiana and the cold winter temps + chlorine really dries the skin. This stuff is very effective!

EJB190
February 25th, 2012, 08:47 PM
This happens to me sometimes.

The chlorine does a great job of oxidizing your skin (thus the burning) and drying it out (with the combination of dry, winter air)- also creating a sensation of burning.

I think your best bet is to moisturize as best as you can. Be sure to take a shower as soon as you get out of the pool. If you shower before swimming, don't use hot water. After swimming would also suggest initially taking a cooler shower initially, gradually turning up the heat. The hot water opens your skins pores and allows the chlorine to sink in deeper. Take the shower as soon as you can.

Unfortunately in some places, the public water has a lot of chlorine in it. When I was little my mom would never let my grandma wash my clothes at her house. My clothes would come out reeking of chlorine. The pool facility my high school used also have very chlorinated shower water. I had well water at home with zero chlorine so I would usually take 2 showers after practice.

Also moisturize as much as you can. Before you swim. After you swim. Before you go to bed. After you take a shower in the morning. I find in my case most of the burning is associated with my skin drying out. Rehydrating the skin helps substantially. Water alone removes a lot our natural oils, chlorine makes it even worse.

Vasaline works great as a pre-swim moisturizer. Since it's messy I only apply it to the affected areas. I've also heard waterproof sunscreen works, though I've never tried this.

jswim
February 27th, 2012, 01:40 PM
I had serious itching after my re-entry to swimming a few years ago. It was so bad I thought I wasn't going to be able to swim any more. Then I started heavily moisturizing and trying a bunch of different things. I still get itchy sometimes but it's not nearly as bad as it was.

I sometimes use dermaswim pro, it's a pre-swim lotion that seems to help me quite a bit (though the area of my back that I can't reach is still an issue)

It works best for me if I can get it on about 1/2 hour -1 hr before swimming. If I put it on right before going into the pool I don't think it has much time to absorb and just washes off in the pool. Also use lotion after swimming. Tri-swim is pretty good, though I need to order it which is a downside (especially living in AK)

I also think that as others have said exfoliating well after swimming is helpful.

Elaine, I think you've sold me on Cetaphil... I'm most certainly going to try it!

Eli, thanks for the hot water tip, I ALWAYS use hot water before swimming, didn't think about it but your reasoning for not using it makes sense.. if I can brave the cold water shock I'll give it a try, thanks.

Good luck Ann!
-J

EJB190
February 27th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Closely related...
Ultraswim has really helped my hair. I have blonde hair, like really blonde hair- I have a lot of Swedish and Norwegian blood. My hair used to turn green from the chlorine, not anymore. It also makes it less nappy and starchy.