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swim4sanity
July 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM
I know this was discussed before on this forum but my doctor suggested I stop swimming in chlorine due to an allergic reaction I seem to keep getting. Does anyone have any luck with this? Anyway to waterproof the infected area? I am at a loss and devastated as to what to do.

Redbird Alum
July 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM
You said you were having an allergic reaction... are you only having it in a small area of the skin? That doesn't make sense to me.

I think we may need some more details to better diagnose the problem or make recommendations..

swim4sanity
July 19th, 2007, 08:58 PM
I guess I am a little uncomfortable discussing on a forum the full details but would greatly value a swimmer's input who has dealt with this and may also have a medical background, perhaps off/post. My doctor thinks its no big deal and that I should run instead. Maybe a better question is how can I find a doctor who is more familiar with swimming?

LizGoldsmith
July 19th, 2007, 09:15 PM
I get strong skin reactions to chlorine. I don't know if that's what you're experiencing. I use a lotion called Derma-Swim Pro that you apply before swimming. It's made a huge difference for me -- no itching, no rashes.

The Fortress
July 19th, 2007, 09:16 PM
First, you cannot be allergic to chlorine. It is an irritant, not an allergen. Don't know what your particular issue is, but if swimming has been making you sick with sinus infections and whatnot, I fully understand. I have really struggled the last two years with my sinuses and breathing. I have allergies to most of the world and chlorine seems to make it worse. I am also an ex-runner, but have persisted in my swimming despite my doc (ENT and eye) telling me it's not the best exercise. It's tough to run in a pollen-filled world anyway.

You need: (1) proper allergy medication (I assume you've seen an ENT doc and have discovered what you're allergic to and have the requisite meds); (2) wear a nose clip if you can (I haven't mastered this yet, but everyone swears by it); (3) use saline sprays or a neti pot after swimming to flush out the irritants and sooth the nasal passages.

If it's your eyes that are bothering you, you need to (1) get prescription goggles (they're cheap on line) and try not swimming with your contacts if you have them; (2) rinse your contact lens out immediately after swimming if you can; (3) never overwear your contacts; (4) use tear replacement drops. If you have dry eye, that's another thing. An eye doc will tell you to quit swimming pronto with this condition. (S)he-man and I have battled this problem. I seem to do well with systane and an RX med Restasis.

If it's something else, you can PM me. I've been through the ringer with allergies and swimming, so feel your pain! It's very frustrating, I know.

craiglll@yahoo.com
July 20th, 2007, 09:05 AM
First, you cannot be allergic to chlorine. It is an irritant, not an allergen. Don't know what your particular issue is, but if swimming has been making you sick with sinus infections and whatnot, I fully understand. I have really struggled the last two years with my sinuses and breathing. I have allergies to most of the world and chlorine seems to make it worse. I am also an ex-runner, but have persisted in my swimming despite my doc (ENT and eye) telling me it's not the best exercise. It's tough to run in a pollen-filled world anyway.

You need: (1) proper allergy medication (I assume you've seen an ENT doc and have discovered what you're allergic to and have the requisite meds); (2) wear a nose clip if you can (I haven't mastered this yet, but everyone swears by it); (3) use saline sprays or a neti pot after swimming to flush out the irritants and sooth the nasal passages.

If it's your eyes that are bothering you, you need to (1) get prescription goggles (they're cheap on line) and try not swimming with your contacts if you have them; (2) rinse your contact lens out immediately after swimming if you can; (3) never overwear your contacts; (4) use tear replacement drops. If you have dry eye, that's another thing. An eye doc will tell you to quit swimming pronto with this condition. (S)he-man and I have battled this problem. I seem to do well with systane and an RX med Restasis.

If it's something else, you can PM me. I've been through the ringer with allergies and swimming, so feel your pain! It's very frustrating, I know.

I am so glad that people are starting to understand the difference between irratants & allergens. There is no protean in chlorine so it can't be an allergy.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 20th, 2007, 09:21 AM
I think the confusion about allergen or irritant lies in the fact that symptoms are similar. I get the nasal allergy-like symptoms after my longer swims, but these usually go away as the day goes on. What I've found helpful are (1) children's Benedryl--a pharmacist suggested this b/c they're a lower dose and so cause less drowsiness, while offering some relief... the "non-drowsy" meds seem to do nothing for me; (2) Zicam swabs or tablets. (I'd avoid the spray... a friend told me that irritated her more).

So far, no skin problems from chlorine, thankfully!

swim4sanity
July 20th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Thanks for all your responses. Regardless of what chlorine is to me, allergy or irritant, it not fun. I think my problem is too specific for this thread. Thanks for your help though. Some of the back blogs from early 2002 were helpful as well. Glad this is here.

JennyS
July 24th, 2007, 01:38 PM
Did you try putting vasaline on it? It basically works as a barrier between your skin and the water. Good luck!