Chlorine’s Effect on Eczema

Our skin is our body’s number one defense against germs or getting sick. It is a protective layer that keeps us healthy and protects our organs. There are so many factors that affect the health and condition of our skin. Having eczema can make this a little more challenging because the moisture that we need isn’t produced as it should be.

There are a lot of external factors that affect an eczema flare up such as weather, lotions, makeup, soap, and laundry detergent. One factor that you may not realize that is so harmful to your skin condition is water. Most, if not all, city water is treated with chlorine. Chlorine however is hurting us and not helping our water. Here are some of the effects of chlorine on our skin and eczema.

First and foremost, chlorine dries out your skin. This is bad for people who have eczema because their skin already is naturally dry and has hard time maintaining moisture. It can also dry out your hair as well. Swimming pools have a lot of chlorine in them to ward off bacteria, and everyone has probably had that dry feeling after a day of swimming.

There isn’t as much concentrated chlorine in your bathing water, however over time the chlorine’s effects really add up against your skin because the levels of chlorine are still pretty high. After showering you can feel itchy, dry, and notice a rash. This is an uncomfortable feeling to have every day.

Showering is more harmful than swimming in a chlorine treated pool. The hot water from your shower opens your pores, to cleanse, but the toxic gases caused from the steam and heat are easily absorbed by your skin. In addition to drying you out, you can prematurely develop wrinkles. To ease the itching feeling after your shower, you can use lotions or eczema oil to alleviate the irritation and bring some moisture back. There is also an option to install chlorine free showerheads. Chlorine free water is the best defense against atopic dermatitis and wrinkles.

There are other harmful effects of chlorine in the water you bathe in and the water you drink. Chlorine is used to fight off bacteria in our water, yet it causes so many other detrimental health problems. In addition to causing atopic dermatitis or making it worse, it has also been known to cause cancer. If you drink tap water that has been treated with chlorine you run the risk of hurting your bladder, stomach, and breasts. It can also really flare up asthma attacks which are commonly associated with eczema. Chlorine, over time, can damage cell tissues.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

12 responses to this post.

  1. 5year old daughter has eczema,n swim every week at a local pool,she has always had mild eczema but now is having a bad breakout everyweek?we are considering allergy testing?


  2. If you’re having issues with your own pool or your community pool, you may also want to move to a natural pool disinfectant like Nature Boy Brands. You can google them and I know it works without any chlorine….and it’s about the same price, I think.

    I have one child with very sensitive skin who has constant booty rashes from swimming in the community pool. I constantly have to remind the lifeguards that you only need 1-3 ppm of free chlorine to be in compliance. There are times when they’re at 8-10 yikes.

    Joe G.


  3. Posted by Duct on April 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    i have eczema and our swimming unit is going on this month in gym and it is making my legs look worse then they were before


    • Thanks for the comment, make sure you shower as soon as you are done and apply a good moisturizer with quality ingredients while the skin is still drying. Emu and Kukui Nut Oil are your best options so that they can deeply penetrate the skin to nourish the cells and retain the water within the cells and not just on the surface.


      • Posted by Duct on April 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM

        thanks yeah in winter(its only a problem in winter) i sleep with socks on my hands and tie them up so i don’t scratch even then i wake up with everything undone every year i go 2florida and between the sun tan lotion and the sun they get better but now that i came back and have that swim unit they r bad again

      • Posted by Duct on April 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        i here the craziest things like did u fall or did u get hit by a car or did u fall out of a tree look what ur soccer shinguards do to you and in middle school i laffed when i heard gossip that i had shaving issues(the only shaving issues i have is making my way around scabs lol)

  4. Posted by Steve on June 3, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    My daughter has mild eczema, and we just moved into a house with a pool. I’m a little hesitant to let her use the pool for fear of aggravating the rash. She only ever breaks out on her arm… can I protect the area with Vaseline or something?


    • It’s possible that this could protect it, it really depends on if you want to have a bi-product of oil next to your daughters skin. I would recommend a natural product, such as coconut oil which would give you the same type of properties, resistant to water. It may not be as thick as the vaseline and would require a periodic reapplication. Combine this with application of Eczema Oil when she is done, and you should have good results and still have the freedom to let her swim in the pool Another recommendation is to see if you can switch your pool treatment to a ozone, or saltwater, this would be ideal.


  5. Posted by oscar\ on October 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    so if you have really bad rashes so can you swim at a local pool that have chlorine??


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