Pool chlorine and its impacts on feet

Updated on 15 March 2024

Pool chlorine and its impacts on feet

With the arrival of warm weather and sunshine, the thought of swimming in a pool is quite appealing. Even if the water’s coolness is very tempting, it is important to take into account the chemicals added to clean it. Many pools utilize chlorine, which can have negative effects on the skin. Here, we will examine how it might affect the health of our feet.

The effects of chlorine on the feet

Pool water is cleaned using a treatment product called chlorine. This oxidant will work by getting rid of germs and stopping the growth of algae. It comes in a variety of forms (liquid, powder, capsules, etc.) and needs to be added to the pool on a regular basis to keep the water sanitary. Chlorine is, therefore necessary for many pools, both public and private.

However, this product is damaging to the skin, hair, and mucous membranes because of its chemical composition, particularly hypochlorous acid. In addition, chloramines, irritating chemical compounds, are released when chlorine comes into contact with organic matter secreted by bathers (perspiration, saliva, dead skin, etc.).

As a result, chlorine can cause issues for the feet’s epidermis, including everything from basic dryness to irritation to itching, burns, and allergies.

How to protect your foot from chlorine’s harmful effects

Despite the fact that chlorine might irritate the skin, you do not have to stop going swimming. The most crucial thing is to adhere to some guidelines.

First, it is important to utilize the proper amount of chlorine if it is your pool. Using more will not make the water cleaner and will really be more unpleasant on your skin.

Then, do not forget to thoroughly rinse with fresh water before getting in the pool. In order to prevent coming into touch with chlorine, it is also a good idea to cover any sores on your feet with a protective cream or wrap them in a waterproof adhesive bandage. A strong barrier against chlorine can also be made by applying a dry oil.

After swimming, it is essential to rinse with fresh water once again.

How can chlorine-related foot irritation be treated?

Use a light soap (PH neutral or superfatted) to gently exfoliate your skin and rinse off any chlorine residue if your skin feels irritated after swimming. Afterward, apply a moisturizing cream and briefly massage yourself.

We strongly encourage you to speak with a medical professional if the irritation does not go away. The podiatrist can provide suitable treatments in the event of a wound or inflammation.

An alternative to pool chlorine to avoid foot irritation

PHMB (polyhexamethylene biguanide) is an excellent substitute if you frequently have foot discomfort after swimming and need another way to guard against the damaging effects of chlorine on your feet. This chemical used to disinfect water is harmless to the human body. It successfully gets rid of germs, bacteria, and fungi while not irritating skin. Additionally, it has no smell and is more environmentally friendly than chlorine. It is one of its flaws that it has no effect on algae; however, this can be fixed by using it in combination with an algicide product.

Protect your feet against chlorine exposure both before and after swimming

Regardless of your level of sensitivity to chlorine, it is crucial to safeguard your foot skin to maintain its health. You should protect yourself against the risks of irritability and allergies, which can occasionally get quite serious with repeated contact, by following a few guidelines before and after swimming. Learn about the many chlorine replacements available if you have a pool or spa.

Avoid letting a serious foot skin rash fester; instead, schedule an immediate appointment with a FootNetwork podiatrist.

Trouver votre clinique
A member