Is Swelling Of Hands And Feet Related To Chlorine Allergy?

by Megan

My orthopedic surgeon suggested I try hydrotherapy 7 months after I had surgery on my shoulder,as I still have limited movement.

I had a rash,runny nose,itchy eyes and was scratching incessantly after my first session. At first my doctor thought it could be the meds he prescribed,which he advised I stop taking. I went to my 2nd session 2 weeks later and almost 4 hours later I was itching again but this time my ankles and wrists felt as if they were sprained and my hands and feet swelled, I couldn't squat down because my knees were also swollen.

I've Googled chlorine allergy symptoms but nothing I've read has mentioned swelling of limbs....
Just wondering if you have heard of anybody with a chlorine allergy that has suffered with swelling of the limbs?



Thanks for the question Megan

I'm not a doctor so I can't give medical advice, but this is what I've seen through my personal experience.

A true chlorine allergy is rare, but some people do have it. Most of the time when symptoms arise, such as itchy red skin or burning noses and throats, it's related to an unbalanced pool.

Many times this happens with indoor pools. If you go to an indoor pool you'll probably smell a bad "chlorine smell". This smell is the dead organic matter in the pool, namely urine, sweat, make-up, etc... This is known as combined chlorine, or chloramines. The chlorine kills this organic matter and when it dies it releases gas. The pool operator needs to shock the pool to kill off the remaining organic matter.

Another issue indoor pools face is the lack of fresh air and exhaust. Indoor pools need these in order to keep the chloramine level down. Ever walked outside and near an indoor pool and already smell the chlorine? This is the exhaust system pumping out of stale air.

I would be concerned about the pool's combined chlorine level. This might be what's causing your issue, but again, this is not a diagnosis, just an opinion.

The chloramine level should not be over 0.6ppm. I shocked the Y pool after this level was 0.6ppm or higher for 3 consecutive days. This is the only way to know if the pool needs to be shocked.

I will assume you go to a commercial indoor pool. Most of the question I get for this issue are from people just like you. The chlorine level for commercial indoor pools should be between 3.5 - 4.5 ppm, the filter rate is between 250 - 280 gallons per minute and an acceptable combined chlorine level is 0.0ppm - 0.4ppm. Again, anything over that and the pool need to be shocked.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Skin & Hair Problems" category.

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Hope this helps.


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White Circle Stains On Clothing And Concrete

What would cause, after the bathing suit dries, a white ring and in this white ring, the material has been eaten?

I also noticed on the concrete where we sit to dry off, under the chair, the concrete is stained and around the stain, is a white ring.

Pools levels appear normal using pH strips and chlorine a bit on the high side? Please advise.

Three swim suits ruined.....Should I mention that the skin turns white while in the pool, and that you can literally write your name in white on your skin....

Thanks for the question

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier.

Is your pool a salt pool? White rings where you sit can be the residue of salt when the water evaporates. You need to spray the deck, chairs, and pretty much everything down with a hose after each swim.

It could also be a higher than normal calcium hardness (CH). Hard water levels can also contribute to white rings around the water line of the pool and how to test water hardness level is easy with the right test kit. I use the Taylor K-2006 pool test kit.

I wouldn't suspect it's the chlorine if it's kept at the right levels of 1.5 - 3.5ppm.

Concerning the white skin, it's hard to tell without the readings, the actual numbers. Words such as "normal" and "a bit on the high side" don't help. It could be the pH or alkalinity, but without the numbers it's a guessing game.

There is a fungus that can cause white patches. It's called Tinea versicolor (TIN-ee-uh vur-si-KUL-ur), also called pityriasis versicolor. It's a common fungal infection of the skin.

I'm not a doctor so please don't take this as medical advice. You need to get yourself checked out for this and have a proper diagnosis. This is only a pool guy's opinion and should be looked upon as such.

Get back to me with the numbers and we can go from there.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Skin & Hair Problems" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of $35 for one hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

If you've found this site helpful please consider making a donation. Thank you.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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What Causes Bathing Costumes To Lose Elasticity?

Bathing costumes are losing their elasticity (going out of shape).

What could be causing this?


Thanks for the question Donald

Unfortunately I'm not the expert on bathing costumes, but I can give you my 2 cents. This comes from overhearing conversations at the Y from older women who choose to full bathing suits.

They say it's mainly due to a couple of things:

Age of the suit



Obviously if a suit is older, gets used alot, or is of low quality, the elasticity will wear out soon.

Many women need to get a new one each year because they're in water aerobics 2 - 3 times per week. Also, the chemicals in a chlorine pool will tend to wear out the suits quicker, especially those of lower quality.

They've tried to sew them up the best they can, but in the end, the best thing is to get a new bathing costume. Hope this answers your question


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