Swimming is one of the most therapeutic sports. The visual of a swimming pool filled with fresh blue water gives an adrenaline rush and makes you forget everything. The moment you inch closer to the swimming pool, you feel like jumping into this pool of happiness. Whether you are swimming to build your physical strength or for relaxation, it is a sport that gives you a lot of joy.

Though swimming can generate happy hormones in the form of dopamine and provide instant satisfaction, the sport has a downside. You can attract certain skin infections at the pool. What are some of the skin infections that you may pick up at the swimming pool? Swimmer’s itch, sea bather’s eruption, pseudomonas dermatitis (also known as hot tub rash), athlete’s foot, molluscum contagiosum, and impetigo are common skin infections that swimmers can contract at the swimming pool. These infections may cause blisters or itchy and burning sensations. They appear as reddish bumps or pimples.

Skin infections caused due to the water of a swimming pool may be an inevitable part of a swimmer’s life. Since people who love swimming cannot just quit the sport, fearing the dangerous skin infections that can be caused, there are ways by which one can avoid these infections.

Cover and disinfect your wound

If you have an open wound, ensure that you cover it so that there is no interaction between the wound and the water of the swimming pool. Apart from protecting the wound, it would be best if you disinfected the same. Even after a few days of the injury being healed, you must disinfect that wounded area before you step into the swimming pool. Though the water may look clean from the outside, there could be umpteen microscopic bacteria, parasites, and other germs that are not visible to the naked eye floating in the swimming pool. To keep these bacteria, parasites, and other germs at bay and not allow them to interact with our wounded patch of skin, you need to cover the wound and disinfect it.

Wear flip-flops on the swimming pool deck

In addition to bacterial infection, fungal infection can cause an athlete’s foot. To avert this skin infection, the swimmers are encouraged to wear flip-flops near the swimming pool. By doing this simple act, you can reduce the chance of contracting cracked and itchy skin. Also, the swimmers must keep their feet dry after swimming. It is observed that wet feet can lead to the growth of the fungus. Keeping your feet dry helps you avoid athlete’s foot skin infection.

Choose your towel wisely

More often than not, it is seen that after a hard yard of swimming, when the swimmers come out of the pool to dry themselves, they choose the towel closest to them to get all the water out of their skin. However, this is not the wisest thing to do. This is because towels at the swimming pool can be another breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. A bacterial infection such as impetigo can cause crusty sores or blisters, and viral infection such as molluscum contagiosum appears as pink-coloured lumps and can be transmitted through towels. While we cannot control the probability of getting a clean towel at the swimming pool, the best practice is to carry your towel. Wiping your body dry after swimming with your towel will help you avoid bacterial and viral skin infections.

The next time you set out from your home to go swimming, see that you follow the three steps mentioned earlier

1) Cover and disinfect your wound

2) Carry flip-flops, and

3) Take your towel to wipe your body dry. By following these three simple steps, you can keep the skin infections caused due to swimming away.