How does chlorine affect you? The effects of chlorine on skin
Chlorine is a commonly used disinfectant in swimming pools that effectively kills harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. However, prolonged exposure to chlorinated water can adversely affect the skin. Therefore, if you enjoy swimming for long hours or are involved in the sport daily, knowing the negative effects of chlorine on your skin and ways to protect your skin from chlorine is crucial.
Negative effects of chlorine on your skin
Usually, your skin feels dry and itchy after a swimming session. This is due, in part, to the effects of chlorine, which is commonly used to disinfect pool water.
Some of the effects of chlorine on the skin include dryness and itching, eczema flare-ups, acne, discolouration, and premature ageing. Chlorine is a skin irritant that strips the skin of its natural oils.
By removing natural oils, chlorine erodes your skin's natural protective barrier. Without this barrier, your pores open, and your skin becomes more vulnerable to the effects of water and chlorine. Because chlorine strips away the natural oils in your skin that act as a protective barrier, spending time in a chlorinated pool can lead to a flare-up or worsening of psoriasis and eczema (sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis, the main type of eczema).
Additionally, water in the swimming pool deprives your skin of moisture. When the barrier is broken, the dermal layer produces sebum in large amounts. When the oil is produced in large quantities, it can lead to pimples and acne.
Moreover, if you swim in an outdoor pool, your skin is directly exposed to the sun. It can trigger the rate of production of melanin in your dermal layer. The overproduction of the compound can make our skin darken.
Since chlorinated water from pools breaks the protective barrier of your skin, ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate deeper and have a detrimental impact on your dermal layer. It can also lead to severe tanning and skin burn.
Protecting your skin from chlorine
There are many ways to protect your skin from the effects of chlorine. Showering before swimming might seem counterintuitive, but adequately wetting your skin and hair before getting in the pool will lessen the amount of chlorine they absorb.
Also, water-resistant sunscreen can protect your skin from absorbing harmful UV rays. It is also recommended to shower immediately after swimming. Using an anti-chlorine soap can do wonders. Also, use a moisturiser after your bath to make your skin firmer.