Learning a Few Things About Chlorine

Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

All right, so what is chlorine? What is chlorine water? And what are these weird things called bleach baths that dermatologists sometimes suggest that you use? Well, we all know that we put chlorine in a swimming pool or a hot tub to decrease the amount of bacteria that one person transmits to another. So it kills off bacteria. But in the process it can do certain things to your skin that may be beneficial, or may be detrimental.

The benefits of chlorine

Now, let’s start with the beneficial first. Chlorine can decrease colonization of bacteria on our bodies. And so a lot of times, especially people who are younger in age, who have atopic dermatitis or eczema, a lot of times they have an overgrowth of a certain type of bacteria on their skin. And so if we tell them to get into a swimming pool once or twice a week, or tell them to make chlorine water or swimming pool water in their bathtub once or twice a week, we can reduce their bacterial load on their skin, and oftentimes their eczema will get better. So it’s easy if you have a pool. You just jump in the pool for five or ten minutes once or twice a week, and then you rinse off completely to get the chlorine off of you, and then you apply a lotion. But if you don’t have a swimming pool, then you can just make chlorine water or swimming pool water in your bathtub. And how we usually recommend doing that is doing one third of a cup of bleach, and you put that in a full bath tub of water. You soak for about 5-10 minutes. You rinse off, and then you apply your lotions. Just once or twice a week.

The downsides to chlorine

That’s the good part of chlorine. Now the bad part of chlorine is if you do anything too much, then you can start to get dry, irritable skin. If the chlorine concentration isn’t right, you can even get chemical burns or other sorts of problems. So I’d recommend that especially during winter, if you’re using hot tubs, maybe only limit that to five or ten minutes a week, and then rinse off completely, and apply a good lotion immediately thereafter. If you’re still getting bothered or irritated, see your local dermatologist, because we oftentimes have lots of tips to help.