Chlorine Rash

A chlorine rash is a skin rash that is caused due to the exposure to chlorine.  This rash is popular by the name swimming pool rash because mostly people report these rashes after they have been to a swimming pool. It does not take much time for the onset of signs and symptoms of these skin rashes after exposure to the said chemical. The beginning of chlorine rash is troublesome itching.

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Chlorine is a harsh chemical and is also a strong oxidant. If it is left on skin for a considerable time, it may cause itching and in later stages it develops as rash on the skin. Chlorine is added in the water to kill bacteria but if a person is allergic to chlorine, he may develop symptoms of chlorine allergy. But the extent to which the symptoms are developed vary greatly from one person to the other. Some may not be affected at all but others may get severe problems due to even little exposure.

A number of clinical and home remedies are available for treating chlorine rash. The symptoms may take few days to few weeks to heal.


Usually chlorine that is added in water of swimming pools, recreational water parks, hot tubs etc is inhabited by people and therefore they report eruption of chlorine rash. The purpose of adding chlorine is to use it as a disinfectant for killing bacteria that grow in such heavily populated water.  For some people, getting exposed to small quantity of water causes no harm and for others, exposure to even a little quantity of chemical can trigger allergic rash development. A person who develops chlorine rash is said to have chlorine allergy.

People who spend most of the time in swimming pools generally develop chlorine rash because the chemical bonds to hair and skin and do not easily wash away. This is the reason that chlorine continues to irritate the skin even after the person has come out of the pool. In due course of time it causes irritation and develop as rash or bumps on the skin. If it is lingering chlorine that is causing irritation and rash, then it should be washed off. A concentrated pH balanced Vitamin C spray can help you get rid of the chlorine present on your skin.

Signs and symptoms

Extreme itching is the first symptom of chlorine rash. There is a equally possibility of itching to get started as soon as person comes in contact with chlorinated water or it may take several hours also. Most people may also get small bumps all over the skin. Within few hours or days these bumps turn into patches. Generally the affected body parts get swollen up and patches become rd in colour. It may also be accompanied by pain.

Itchy rashes are the most common symptoms of chlorine rash which mostly occur if you have recently been into a public swimming pool or hot tub. Since fumes of this chemical cause eye irritation, it is also possible in some cases, that the individual may have watery or dry, swollen, itchy and painful eyes when having allergic chlorine reaction.

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In rare cases the person may also develop certain gastrointestinal symptoms and respiratory ailments. Some of these common diseases are problem breathing, coughing, sneezing and other breathing problems. The person may also develop stuffed or itchy nose because of the smell of chlorine.  However these symptoms may vary from one person to the other.


Taking certain steps may prevent chlorine rash to develop. If you are going to swim in a public swimming pool or any other public water spot and you are allergic to chlorine then you should first talk to the manager about the levels of the chemical in the water. Remove the swimsuit as soon as you come out of the water so as to limit the contact with chlorine. It would be great if you take bathe before and after entering the swimming pool having chlorinated water.


The most common treatment used by the people to treat their chlorine rash is to get an over-the-counter cream or ointment. The creams used to treat rash contain corticosteroids. An anti-itch ointment provides quick relief to the itching which is the most irritating symptom of this kind of rash.

Until the chlorine rashes are cured, the person should continue using antibacterial soap and also keep the affected area clean and dry all the time. However even after taking such measures, the symptoms continue to worsen, rash spreads, colour changes, develops high temperature or itching increases then the person should see a doctor immediately.

You should not use towel and clothes of the person already having chlorine rash. Do not enter into the pool until the rashes are healed.

Chlorine Rash Pictures

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    • i swim 4/5 times a week..the rash is on my right hand and fingers. I control it by throughly showering before and after swimming. Showering before removes oil from the body that can react with the chlorine. I use a cream called Cerave several times a day and I put a cream called Mometsasone (recommended by my doctor) on the affected area once a day. The rash is almost completely gone but my doctor warned that it might come back. My doctor is a competition swimmer and understands these things.

  1. My 6 y.o. Granddaughter has been enrolled in summer swim lessons at a High School here in Napa, Ca. She’s in her 4th 2 wk session. She developed a rash that looked like chicken pox all over her stomach, chest, lower pantie area and buttocks, and back legs. I took her to Dr and he confirmed chlorine rash. I checked to see if the pool was ph tested daily and told yes. She is the only one affected but, have been applying witch hazel and will get Gold Bond ointment tomorrow. She is still swimming but I make her rinse off before we leave and immediately take her towel and suit and into the wash! just alarmed me since I have NEVER seen anything like this. Children should rinse thoroughly after getting out of public pools!

  2. I get clusters of tiny blisters on my arms and mostly my legs. They itch like crazy. Ir only happens after getting into any pool. I shower right after each time, but it doesn’t help. I stopped using the cream for eczema my doctors prescribed because of the steroids. I just try to avoid pools. I watch everyone else have fun from the sidelines.

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