Skin Problems From Pools

by Gail
(Billings, MT)

I have an issue with recent skin problems from pools.

I've been going to low impact water aerobics for over 6 months, but the last month or so I have developed scaley, itchy rash-like eruptions on my ankles and legs after showering and returning home.

I am wondering why that would happen all of a sudden when for the first 5 months I didn't have any skin eruptions that caused concern? I obviously wasn't "allergic" to the chemicals for the first 5 months, so why would that happen now?

Thanks for your question Gail

For your skin problems from swimming pools, first I would suggest you take inventory of yourself: Any new pets, change in soaps or laundry detergents, new body lotion, changes in your diet, etc...

Chlorine Allergy..Pool Chlorine..Current Health Articles..Swimming Pool Care

If all that checks out ask the pool operator to see the pool records. The readings should be consistent and in line.

Pool Tips, Basic, Swimming Pool Care, Problems, Chemistry, Chemicals

To high/low pH or alkalinity might be the issue.

Also, if it's an indoor pool he might need to shock too often if there's not a good flow of fresh air and exhaust to get rid of the chloramines. Too much chlorine too often may cause a reaction.

Ask when the last time the pool was drained, cleaned and re-filled. At the YMCA we drain the pool each year and refill. One year before I arrived they did a 1/2 drain and refill and the rest of the year was a nightmare for them and found themselves constantly shocking.

If all is alright, use a good anti-chlorine soap and shampoo.

And if all that checks out you may want to limit the amount of time you're in the pool, find a qualified health care provider or herbalist that can diagnose your skin issue and give you a natural cure.

Hope this helps and let me know how this works for you.

All the best


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How Do You Treat It? - Hot Tub Rash

My kids have this right now. They've had it since Saturday and I took them to the doctor for it.

Is there any treatments for it? I've been doing cortisone cream and oatmeal baths.

Thanks for the question

I'm not a doctor so I won't be giving any medical advice. I can tell you what I've seen that has worked, but I recommend you talk to your doctor about any treatments.

Sometimes treatment may not be needed. Most true chlorine rashes and hot tub rashes clears on its own. Anti-itch medications can be used. If you have a severe case you can ask your doctor about an antibiotic.

This is spread by direct contact with contaminated water and occurs in hot tubs, spas, and swimming pools that are poorly maintained.

If you think you received this from another hot tub I'd advise you to not go back to it until they totally disinfect the hot tub. If it's yours you need to shock it, then drain and clean it, fill it back up again shock it once more.

Again, this is my opinion and not medical advice.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Hot Tub/Spa Questions" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of $35 per hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Have I helped you find a solution to your pool problems? Did this information help you? Please consider making a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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What Is This Itching After Swimming?

by Erin

Every year we go to Great Wolf Lodge for a family trip the week before Christmas. We always stay there for a week. So I'm in the waterpark for the entire week.

Well, then I start to get like this feeling whenever like I lay down. It feels like there's needles poking me and it itches but there's no rash. It just really itches. What is this?

Am I allergic to the bed or carpets there? Should I just take a shower after every time I swim?

I have sensitive skin and it doesn't both anyone else in my family but me!

Thanks for the question Erin

It could very well be that you might be having an allergic reaction to the water at Great Wolf. I took my family up Great Wolf in WA. state in March 2010. Being a pool guy I was really looking at the water and sniffed around for a heavy chlorine smell. The only complaint I had was that it was too cold inside.

If Great Wolf is checked and tested by the state, they should have records. I believe these records are open to the public. You can also check with your local or state board of health and ask about the readings.

Great Wolf might be a private entity, therefore, perhaps not subject to state laws.

I would ask to see the records. They may be using an algaecide or metal remover that you're allergic to.

Your best bet is to try to minimize the time in the water and take a hot soapy shower right after swimming. Use anti-chlorine soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

True chlorine allergies are not that common though they do exist. It's normally the organic matter in the pool that causes skin irritation. This is when not enough chlorine is used to kill the bacteria. The pH could be a little low, but without the readings it's hard to say.

You would really need a doctor's opinion if you truly have a chlorine allergy.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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My Face Is Red, Sore, & Itchy After Swimming In Chlorine Pool?

by Rene
(New York)

Today I spent about 2 hours swimming in public chlorinated swimming pool. Afterward, my face started stinging and became red, sore, and a bit itchy! This has never happened to me before and I've swam in that same pool other times with no problems.

Any thoughts on what this is?

People should not have any reactions to the pool chlorine or anything else, in a well balanced pool. Your issue might be caused by chloramines in the pool water. This is when there is not enough chlorine to kill the organic matter (sweat, urine, spit, make-up, etc...) that is found in almost all public pools.

Swimming Pool Shock

If you go into a public pool and get that nasty pool chlorine smell, the chances of the pool having chloramines are pretty high. The pool needs to be shocked on a regular basis when the chloramine level get above 0.6ppm for 3 consecutive days.

Having a Taylor Reagent FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit will help with knowing whether or not the swimming pool needs to be shocked. I would suggest getting good anti-chlorine soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and shower right after swimming.

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Skin Rash

by Jane

Our hot tub stopped working for one month. Once once it started working again we went back into the tub and when I got out I had a very itchy, painful bite near the private area, above the hairline. A jagged line straight across.

I have tried many lotions, antibiotic lotions and creams and months later I still have it. No insurance, no job.

Please help

Thanks for the question Jane

Without your hot tubs chemical readings it's hard to say with any degree of certainty what the issue could be. Please post your most recent set of readings.

Do you use chlorine or bromine?

As for the itchy bumps and rash, I'm not a doctor so I can't give you medical advice. However, most of the time when people have the symptoms you describe it's hot tub rash. This are sometimes called Foliculitis, Folliculitus, Chronic Dermatitis, or Bacterial Folliculitis.

It also might be a chlorine rash or allergy to chlorine, but this more rare as many people don't have an actual allergy to chlorine but an adverse reaction to combined chlorine also known as chloramines.

Your best defense against hot tub rash is to keep your readings in line. You can find them on this page:

Swimming Pool Tips

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Hot Tub/Spa Questions" 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 your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Hot Tub Rash Pictures

The pictures on here are of chickenpox. Someone probably had shingles and contaminated the hot tub with shingles.

The best thing to do for this would be take size 0 capsules of calcium hypochlorite. A.K.A. pool shock or MMS 2. About 4 a day for five days. And I am not kidding.

Thanks for the comment but I'm not sure what you mean by taking "0 capsules of calcium hypochlorite. A.K.A. pool shock or MMS 2."

Does this mean to ingest it or using it in the pool or hot tub?

Also, hot tub rash may present itself differently to different people. Although there are similarities, it can manifest in different ways.

I will assume you're not a doctor so advising people to ingest chlorine would be bad.

I stand by my pictures as accurate representations of actual hot tub rash.

Thanks again for visiting my site.


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