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Chlorine Rash

What is Chlorine rash?

As the name actually suggests it, a chlorine rash is a type of rash that appears after a person has been exposed to chlorine. In the majority of the cases, the persons who complain of having developed skin rash have recently been to a swimming pool. The symptoms do not take too long to appear after a person has been exposed to chlorine but their intensity can vary tremendously from one person to the other.

Chlorine is a very strong chemical and it has intense oxidant properties. This is usually used in swimming pools but it is also found in various places as disinfectant, making an environment sterile and killing off bacteria. However, people can be extremely sensitive to chlorine, developing a wide range of symptoms. Not only can a person develop an allergy to chlorine but the symptoms can vary, until they are life threatening (in a bigger exposure). Also, you might want to remember that the chlorine is so powerful that it will practically eliminate the natural oils you have on your skin.

What does chlorine rash look like?

chlorine rash
If the exposure to chlorine was reduced as a period of time or intensity, then the rash will be not so extensive or aggravated but present however on the skin, as small clustered bumps. Often times, the irritation will extend to the eyes, leaving them red and even swollen. A high level exposure, however, can lead to the skin presenting blisters, severe burns and even ulcerations. We are talking here about the kind of exposure that was of high intensity but also has lasted a certain period of time.

Symptoms of a Chlorine Rash

These are the most common symptoms of chlorine rash:

Eye irritation – the feeling is compared to the one of having sand in the eyes, plus the person will experience the constant need to scratch. More severe exposure can lead to conjunctivitis (allergic or chemical), with the following symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Vision problems

Other symptoms include:

  • As the chlorine strips the body of its natural oils, it should come as no surprise that the skin will be dry and there will be quite a lot of itchiness. In many cases, the affected skin area will peel in the end.
  • Coughing and sneezing, as the nasal receptors are trying to prevent the harmful substance from entering further into the respiratory tract.
  • Increased exposure to chlorine can affect the digestive system as well. The person exposed to chlorine can vomit, have abdominal cramps, be nauseous and even have a burning sensation anywhere the digestive tract.
  • Prolonged exposure to high doses of chlorine can lead to breathing problems and even chest pain, requiring immediate medical treatment.
  • Chronic exposure to chlorine can lead to allergy problems (rhinitis or asthma, for example), irritation of the airways, hay fever and even inflammation of the bronchi.
  • People who have constant contact with chlorine because of their occupation can suffer from any of the following symptoms:
    • Coughing and sneezing
    • Contact dermatitis
    • Wheezing
    • Inflammation of the airways
    • Lung disease.

Causes of Chlorine rash

The main cause of chlorine rash is exposure to chlorine. This can happen in any of the following situations:

  • Prolonged swimming in a swimming pool
  • Spending an increased amount in water while visiting water park attractions
  • Constant, daily relaxation in hot tub
  • Occupational hazard:
    • Chlorination
    • Cleaning swimming pools
    • Bleaching industry
    • Water treatment industry
    • Chlorine production.

Treatment for Chlorine rash

These are the most common courses of treatment for chlorine rash. However, you should keep in mind that the best way to avoid getting a chlorine rash is staying out of swimming pools where the water is treated with chlorine. Let’s see the recommended treatments or chlorine rash:

  • Corticosteroids – these are recommended to be used as a cream and they can really help not only with the itchiness but also with the inflammation
  • Anti-itchiness ointments – these can contain a wide range of substances but the most recommended ones are the ones that contain menthol or camphor, as these can really calm the skin and bring to you the much needed relief
  • Anti-bacterial soap – as it was already mentioned, after chlorine exposure, the skin is dry and depleted of its natural oils. When the skin is dry, it also presents a high risk for developing bacterial infections. This is why it is recommended to use anti-bacterial soap and take really good care of your skin
  • In case of ocular irritation, there are special eye drops that can help with all the symptoms: itchiness, redness and swelling
  • In case you have breathed in chlorine out of accident or because of prolonged exposure, no treatment will be necessary
  • However, it might be a good idea to step out of the room in which you have breathed and out into fresh air
  • Anti-histamines can help with allergic reactions to chlorine
  • Anti-inflammatory medication can be recommended in case there is swelling associated with the rash


There are certain remedies you can try out for yourself and they will certainly help. These are the most common at-home remedies for chlorine rash:

  • Cold compresses applied to the affected area
  • Vaseline – this is recommended to be applied before going into the swimming pool, as it will help to prevent chlorine from affecting your skin
  • Taking a shower before and after entering into contact with chlorine can help to prevent chlorine rash from appearing
    Bathing in water to which baking soda has been added can reduce the itchiness and inflammation
  • Fresh Aloe Vera applied to the skin can help with the symptoms of chlorine rash as well
  • Vinegar applied to the skin area where the rash has developed is helpful
  • A mixture of almond oil and sugar applied to the site of the chlorine rash can help to reduce the experienced itchiness

Pictures of Chlorine Rash

Here are some of the pictures collection of Chlorine Rash…

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Chlorine Rash
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