When summer arrives and the pool covers come off, swimming becomes almost a daily ritual, especially if you live in a hot climate like California and Florida. It’s excellent exercise, and there’s nothing like a quick dip to cool down and relax after work, especially if custom pool builders have installed the pool of your dreams.
There is, however, a risk that you need to guard against if you swim often, and that is the effect that significant exposure to chlorine has on your body.
Custom Pool Builders in Orange County Help You Limit Chlorine Over-Exposure
Help comes in the form of alternatives to chlorine pool systems. It is still the most often used pool chemical because it does an excellent job of killing bacteria in swimming pools, preventing algae growth, eliminating organic matter, and attacking viruses and disease-causing micro-organisms.
Alternative systems limit the amount of chlorine that ends up in your swimming pool water. For example, saltwater pool systems drastically reduce your exposure to chlorine while you swim in your home pool. They’re not chlorine-free, but the levels they produce are similar to the chlorine in drinking water—it does its job without any harmful effects on your skin and hair.
An ozone pool system uses ultraviolet light and jets to circulate throughout the pool. It destroys a host of contaminants and like saltwater systems, you still need to add some chlorine, but in considerably reduced amounts.
There are several other alternatives, including a natural plant pool system, mineral systems, and UV pool systems. They each have pros and cons and vary in how effectively they clean pools, but they all lower the chlorine levels required to keep home swimming pools clean.
Discuss your concerns with a luxury custom pool builder to see which option best suits your needs.
The Negative Effects of Pool Water on Skin
The chemical components and chlorine byproducts that keep your pool clean are the same chemical components and byproducts that damage your skin.
Chlorine reacts with water to form hypochlorous acid, which is what eliminates all the nasties in the swimming pool. The chain reaction continues and results in chloramines.
It’s the chloramines that create the chlorine smell we’re all so familiar with. It’s also the chloramines that damage the skin after frequent exposure.
The chlorine byproduct is a skin irritant that affects your eyes, hair, nails, lungs, and skin. In some cases, the worst that happens is itchy skin and scratchy eyes. But in other cases, the damage is far more severe.
Dry skin is irritating, but the effects of chlorine on the skin don’t stop there. Chlorinated pool water opens the skin’s pores, giving hypochlorous acid access to the essential natural oils there.
The chlorine strips the oils off the skin barrier, causing it to flake and leading to premature aging.
Irritant contact dermatitis, or a rash, often results from over-exposure to chlorine in outdoor swimming pools.
The rash could be mildly irritating, or it could need a visit to the doctor for an anti-bacterial ointment that must be applied to the painful blisters that formed. People with sensitive skin are particularly at risk.
Chlorine burns are not necessarily a risk in family outdoor pools, although it’s possible for heavily chlorinated water to burn hypersensitive skin.
The greater risk is in poorly ventilated indoor swimming pools, but the biggest risk of painful burns is direct contact with pure chlorine that is improperly stored in the pool area.
Always store chlorine out of the sun, out of reach of children and pets, in a well-ventilated space.
Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and acne can be worsened when they come into contact with hydrochloric acid.
People with these conditions can expect painful burning sensations, increased itchiness and scaling, and painful rashes.
Prevent Chlorine-Related Pain and Irritation
There are a few ways in which you can protect your skin from chlorine exposure and prevent irritation from occurring in the first place. At the very least, you can limit the damaging effects.
- Shower before and after swimming. A quick shower before swimming removes sweat and other organic matter that chlorine attacks. Showering afterward removes all the chlorine, so it doesn’t have any lingering effects on your skin out of the pool.
- Use moisture-rich lotion to rehydrate your irritated skin.
- Apply vitamin C after your swim to neutralize the drying effects of chlorine.
- Use heavier sunscreen that’s designed for dry skin. They contain more oils which form a protective layer on your skin. Always apply waterproof sunscreen.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and follow it with an alcohol-free toner to get your skin’s pH balance back to normal. Apply moisturizer straightaway to enhance rehydration.
- Wear swimming goggles to eliminate eye irritation. Never wear contact lenses in the pool, as the damage will increase the irritating effects on dry eyes.
What Does Chlorine Do to Hair?
Exposure to chlorine can affect hair in much the same way as it does skin. It dries it out, weakens it, and causes it to split and break. Chlorine can also change your hair color, natural or dyed.
Hair types most at risk include thin, dyed, bleached hair, dry hair, and damaged hair.
Prevent Chlorine-Related Damage
There are a few steps you can take to limit the damage chlorine does to hair.
- Rinse your hair before and after swimming. Hair is absorbent, so it absorbs regular water, preventing chlorine absorption. Washing it after gets rid of the chlorine residue, so it doesn’t continue to damage your hair long after your swim.
- Use a clarifying shampoo and a leave-in conditioner. A combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar produces a clarifying blend.
- Apply natural oils, including coconut oil and olive oil, before your swim to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine water.
- Wear a swimming cap; just make sure that all of your hair is covered. Rinse your hair beforehand because wet hair makes it easier to put the cap on.
- Braid your hair or pull it into a bun if you don’t have a cap. This minimizes chlorine exposure.
- Let your hair air dry before styling it with a blow dryer and other equipment that could dry your hair even more and cause greater damage. Use a detangling spray, so you don’t break your hair when you brush it after swimming.
Protect Your Skin and Hair when Swimming by Choosing Calimingo Pools!
If you want a custom pool design in Orange County that limits your family’s exposure to chlorine, it is essential to choose a professional custom pool builders in Orange County that will help you design your pool with low chlorine levels in mind.
To request a quote, contact us at 714-235-3294 at Calimingo Pools today!