Chlorine is a commonly used disinfectant in swimming pools and water treatment facilities that effectively kills harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. However, prolonged exposure to chlorinated water can have negative effects on the skin. Especially with Spring and Summer coming up, understanding the potential effects of chlorine on the skin is essential for maintaining healthy skin and minimizing the risks associated with exposure to this powerful disinfectant. Below, our South Florida dermatologists at Dr. Wassef’s DCSI office are diving deeper into how chlorine can impact the skin, as well as some tips for minimizing these effects. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Chlorination?Chlorination refers to adding chlorine to water to disinfect it and kill harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Chlorine is a highly effective disinfectant and is widely used in water treatment facilities, swimming pools, and other settings where water needs to be kept clean and safe for human use. The amount of chlorine added to the water depends on a variety of factors, including the level of contamination in the water and the desired level of disinfection. Considering how often it’s used, many people wonder “Is chlorine bad for you?” White chlorination is highly effective at killing harmful bacteria, but it can also have some negative effects. Additionally, when chlorine reacts with organic matter in the water it can form byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs), which have been linked to a variety of health issues, including cancer and reproduction problems. To minimize these risks, water treatment facilities carefully monitor and regulate the levels of chlorine and other disinfectants in the water and take steps to reduce the formation of disinfection byproducts. You can also minimize your exposure to chlorine by decreasing the amount of time you spend in chlorinated water. However, this can be difficult for people who have to spend a lot of time in chlorinated water, such as athletes that swim for a living. We understand that some people can’t avoid chlorinated water, which is why we’re also sharing how to protect your skin from chlorine below.
Is Chlorine Bad for Skin?If you’ve ever spent time in a swimming pool, you've probably noticed that your skin can feel dry and itchy afterward. This is due, in part, to the effects of chlorine, which is commonly used to disinfect pool water. But is chlorine actually bad for your skin? Let's take a closer look. Some of the effects of chlorine on skin include:
- Dryness and Itching
- Eczema Flare-Ups
- Premature Aging