3 irritating swimming side effects & how to prevent them
June 27, 2012
By Nancy Ryerson
Hitting the pool is a great way to cool off during the summer and stay fit even when it’s not ice cream season. But swimming can also cause a slew of summertime irritants, from itchy skin to painful swimmer’s ear. Dive into this list of how to prevent common side effects of swimming, and enjoy a more comfortable summer.
1. Swimmer’s ear
When water becomes stuck in the ear canal after swimming, it can promote bacterial growth that causes this painful infection. If you’re prone to these infections, make at-home preventive eardrops using one part white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol, the Mayo Clinic advises. Put a drop into each ear before and after swimming to promote dryness and discourage bacterial growth.
2. Damaged hair
Chlorine strips hair of its natural oils, leaving hair frizzy and prone to split ends. Try rinsing your hair before you get in the water — wet hair is less likely to absorb chlorine. Shampoos that remove chlorine can help, but if your hair is already damaged, you’re better off with a moisturizing conditioner.
3. Itchy skin
Swimming in a pool that has an imbalance of chlorine can irritate your skin. Wet your skin with fresh water before getting in a pool so it’s less absorbent, and rinse off with soap and fresh water after swimming. Besides moisturizer and cortisone cream, one home remedy for soothing itchy skin is to add a pot of Rooibus tea to your bath. It’s been used in traditional South African skin treatments for generations.