You may have once been to a pool or the sea for a swim and experienced awful skin issues, post-departure. Who knows, maybe that one awful experience and perhaps a second trial, made you vow to not ever step into such habitat again!
Ha-ha! Chill, for you aren’t alone in this!
Every new swimmer – like myself that didn’t have complete swimming education – once thought the frequent, unceasing entry of people into such habitat, is responsible for a ‘bacterium’ that later haunts subsequent swimmers in the form of body itches, paleness, and dryness.
LOL, ignorance is really a bitch!
FYI, post-swimming skin issues are a direct aftereffect of the varying component and constituents in the water. So, am I saying you should stop swimming altogether? No way!
Do we request the pool owners stop adding harsh chemicals to their pool? Never, since it’s for our collective benefit. What’s the way out then?
Follow me on this serene, refreshing adventure to discover how to blot out red, dry, itchy and varying skin issues, post-swimming!
JUST BEFORE YOU SWIM
- Include Herbal Tea in your diet
Herbal teas like green, Moringa tea are renowned for their rich, high antioxidant contents, which work on your skin. It’s therefore not entirely a bad idea to include herbal teas in your diet to help relieve the stress of oxidative damage on your skin. The antioxidants supplied help you neutralize free radicals – howsoever they may have gotten on your skin – that can wreak havoc on your skin.
- Shower! Shower! Shower
Showering before diving into a indoor or outdoor pool is very important, as it makes a whole lot of difference to your skin’s health. When chlorine mixes with our bodies organic matters, it can create more toxic agents called HBPs. This is why its important you shower to remove sweat, lotions, sunscreen, bacteria and organic matter that may otherwise be stuck on the skin.
- Fortify your skin with a barrier cream
Chlorine and other chemicals are present – naturally provided in the sea, ocean – or added to pools to forestall mold and bacterial growth. Depending on which water mass you are swimming in, the presence of one or all of salt, chlorine and other pollutants, will sure put your skin in a miserable condition, which is why barrier creams are important
Products with oils, petrolatum or glycerin or dimethazone form a seal between the scaly-mermaids and your delicate skin, protecting you from post-swimming skin reactions. Not to forget, the hypoallergenic natural sunscreen with active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide also avails you skin adequate protection from the sun’s ray!
But do remember that not all pools allow moisturizers to be worn by swimmers, due to their potent interference with the disinfecting chemicals. Check the pool rules before lathering up.
- Sip-in lots of water to zip your skin
Your skin is somewhat like a sponge, meaning that there is only so much water it can take in. So, as long as it is moisturized, it’s not going to absorb excess amounts of chlorine in the pool you want to dive into. To ensure this, keep sipping on some water while you swim to make the skin stay properly hydrated. Consuming enough water throughout the day keeps your skin properly hydrated and prevents it from trying to make up for lack of moisture by absorbing chlorinated pool water.
WHAT NEXT AFTER SWIMMING
Once you are done in the pool, there still remains some cogent steps you need take to prevent short or long-term skin discomfort.
- Shower and moisturize ASAP
Deciding to get home before you shower post-swim, is an extremely bad idea for your skin. You do your skin a great disservice! Dr. Kristina Goldenberg, board-certified dermatologist in New York City, warns by saying you should not let the chlorinated water sit on the skin for a long period of time” as it damages your skin.
Not only that, showering after swimming in a(n) (un)natural waterbody helps reduce the risk of contracting rashes and infections, as it strips you of bacteria that might have clung to your skin.
Post-swimming, it’s best to shower in warm or cool, instead of hot water.
- Keep the Moisturizers coming
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you could go a notch higher by using a mild, hydrating cleanser or body wash – to restore the skin’s pH balance from the pool chemicals, immediately you leave the pool. Wash such off while showering, and then apply a moisturizer to restore proper skin hydration.
- Don’t sun or air dry just after swimming!
Just after a pool dip, a strong temptation to just lie on your towel and let the sun do the drying job, may envelope you. But you need to fight it off, as it’s not the best idea. To prevent skin dryness, it’s better to first rinse off with warm, clean water and then towel-dry yourself. Getting back to sunning – after applying more SPF, of course – then becomes advisable.
- Keep applying ointments
If your skin still remains dry/flaky on arrival at home, you could switch to a thicker ointment or moisturizer. Whichever works best for you, keep at it!
- Spray up your skin with Vitamins
Just like mothers do for their babies, you should treat your skin to a spray of Vitamins as they potently neutralize whatever chlorine may be left on the skin. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E bind to the Chlorine that is left on the skin to make it inactive in causing skin damage.
You could opt for the various topical vitamin spray available in the market or DIY by mixing the following in a spray bottle:
Vitamin C Powder – 1 cup
Rose Water / Filtered water – 2 cups
Congratulations! You may now resume your recreational diving activities without fear or apprehension! Enjoy yourself as you do!