When Chlorinated Water Attacks!

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Scleroderma, swimming and over chlorinated water: An exercise note: 

Yesterday, I swam in the pool maintained by y apartment with my son.  It felt great to be in the water and getting some exercise.  Swimming is one of the best ways to exercise without the pressure of gravity  for people with scleroderma, RA or just to keep in shape.

After swimming for a half an hour yesterday, I had to get out of the pool because I could feel the dry parts of my skin burning on my hands.  My hands have been n very good shape these past few months, moisture-wise.  Those of you with scleroderma know how hard it is to keep hands and extremities from cracking from dryness.  When over chlorinated water gets in there – or things like it, well, it burns.  So yesterday, I got out of the pool after a half an hour or so because the water burned.  Yet on Saturday at my cousin’s house, I swam comfortably, no burning and I felt great after I got out of the pool.  Long story short, my cousin’s pool has the proper levels of chlorine.

Yesterday, I took a shower as soon as my son and I got home from the pool at my apartments. Last night, I took another shower after Krav Maga Class. The showers brought little relief.  It may have removed the chlorine, but  I feel like my skin was burned by the chlorine on my  hands, elbows and feet.

If You Skipped to The End

Don’t let an over-chlorinated pool scare you from swimming.  Find friends with pools who chlorinate their pool properly.  Don;t be afraid to ask, or feel shy about hanging out of the pool.  There is nothing rude about avoiding pain.  Another alternative, is saltwater pools.  They are becoming more and more common.  My local YMCA in Temecula, has a saltwater pool and I have never felt burning from their pool.  Also, the YMCA in Temecuala heats it’s pool to a therapeutic temperature, which will help in avoiding a raynaud’s attack.   They also maintain it very well.  Places like the YMCA can be affordable and there are programs for people who cannot afford a monthly membership.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  Especially when swimming can help relieve chronic pain from scleroderma or keep you strong.

Possible Remedy: This is a minor chemical burn, so I will be applying aloe vera asap.  I’m not a doctor.  Talk to your doctor about relief from over chlorinated water.  My skin is very intact.  No sores or raynaud’s wounds.  Swimming with wounds could be counter productive.  You know what would be really cool?  More information.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?  Let’t get more info out there about scleroderma.  Share your stories outside the scleroderma community and help cure, “Sclero-What?”

Prevention: I never like to use petroleum based products, but I have been told Aquaphor may be helpful to apply to skin before swimming.  I suppose this may be better than not swimming, but I’m not a doctor.  Ask your doctor.  A comment from a doctor would be nice, but only taken seriously with a link to a research article.

NOTE:  While doing research and finding links, I have learned the Temecula YMCA closed its doors July 1, 2013.  I refer to them in my post because I not only do I hope it reopens, I hope that others will check on their YMCA near them and take action to keep it open near them.

Click for more info about over chlorinated pools from Livestrong because of CDC  reference links at the end with even more information. 

It’s not easy to find info about how swimming benefits scleroderma patients.  Let’s change that.  If you have info, share it on somewhere please!  or leave it in the comments and I will share.  Here is info by The Scleroderma Research Foundation.  You have to scroll down to the section titled: Stiff Painful Joints.