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Saving Skin from Swimming Pool Rash

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Q. I've had trouble with itchy, red blotchy skin after I swim in the pool. At the suggestion of a local swim coach, I started applying Aquaphor ointment before I swim. No more rash!

Our pool is disinfected with chlorine and bromine, and I suspect the painful blotches on my arms and thighs are caused by an allergy. Because of a leg injury, the pool is my only option for cardio. I'm in the pool four or five times a week, for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.

I apply the ointment half an hour before I get in the pool, and again about five minutes before. I rinse off for a few minutes to accommodate the "shower first" rule, and the ointment stays in place. It's still on when I get out of the pool, and I wash with my regular soap and go. No chlorine smell, no rash.

A. Thank you for telling about this simple solution to a vexing problem. Aquaphor is a skin ointment with a petroleum jelly base plus mineral oil, lanolin, glycerin and other ingredients. It is possible that plain petroleum jelly (Vaseline, for example) might also work to prevent this problem.

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