Dermatology Expert Forum
Does it come fom my swimming pool?
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Does it come fom my swimming pool?

Dear Doctor,
I am a 52 year old male.  I have developed a rash on my lower and upper legs.  The rash could be described as hives or welts.  They are raised slightly and when first activated are red to pink in coor.  Also when they are first activated they itch very much.  Sometimes I have scratched them so much they bleed.  They started this summer during a time in which I was spending extended lenghts of time in my swimming pool. At the first part of the season I had no trouble, that is when the water temperature was under 82-83 degrees.  Around the end of June the summer sun raised the water temp to close to or 90 degrees.  It was at this time when the rash developed.  I can stay out of the pool and within a few days the itching subsides and the welts start to dry up.  The red color diminishes and although they start to turn white they stay raised for a few more days after that.  When the raised part returns to normal there is still some flaking and just ever so seldom a slight itch which can be satisfied with one quick scratch.  Now then, returning into the water will activate this whole process again.  I get relief from 1 0/0 hydrocortisone  topically and Benadryl orally.  I even have a small amount of Hytone cream Which was a leftover from something my father had and after using that on the most intense spots the water has less effect on activating the rash.  It seems to me if I could avoid pool swimming this thing would clear up completely.  I know what you are thinking, you think I am allergic to the pool chemicals.  Me too!  But the strange thing is I have been swimming in pools all my life.  I use chlorine fora sanitizer and adjust the PH with a dry acid used for this purpose or when I dont have that type I use muradic acid like brick masons use on there work for clean up.  Any way I matain the chlorine at 1.5 PPM and the PH at 7.6-7.4.  Is there something I can do or take to aleviate this problem or do I need to quit pool swimming?  As I said before I have been swimmig in chlorinated pools all my life without this problem.  Your response and suggestions will be greatly appriciated.  Thank You, Rick.
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Rick:

Despite its reputation, chlorine rarely causes problems.  Some people develop hives from water.  Do you get welst when you take a shower?  Swim in the ocean?  If there is any way, try to induce the welts and then have a dermatologist see you when they're there (or failing that, take a good picture of them.)  I have yet to see a patient who had to stop pool swimming altogether because of sensitivity.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
2 Comments
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I know someone who has the same problem, and i do believe it is from the chlorine of the pool, it does not happen when he takes a shower, swims in the ocean, or any other water activity unless the water is chlorinated.  If you check on line there are many others with the same problem maybe they are just not going to the doctor over it, the person i know has stopped swimming altogether because of it, they would rather not swim then deal with the pain of the rash. I've been looking around for solutions for them you might want to check out Dermaswim Pro, I'm going to let my friend know about it as well.  Good Luck
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