With summer just around the corner, people will be in pools more frequently. Swimming is a great form of exercise and gentle on the joints. However, like so many things in life, swim in moderation. In order to keep pools clean and meeting health code criteria, chlorine is used.
Chlorine is a chemical that kills bacteria and can cause havoc on the skin in three major ways.
First of all it decreases both bad and good bacteria. Now, our skin relies on good bacteria to maintain natural defenses and protect us against harmful, invading bacteria.
Secondly, chlorine destroys vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids that exist on the skin. This irritates the skin causing such conditions as acne, eczema, and other sensitivities.
Last but not least. Chlorine promotes the free radical process. This leads to further irritation , premature aging, and increase risk of malignant melanoma with long term exposure.
Solutions to the situation include washing your face, body, and hair immediately after swimming and applying a quality moisturizer, limit swimming to once or twice a week, find a salt water swimming pool as a healthy substitute.