Q:

Does chlorine cause skin problems?

A:

Quick Answer

While an allergy to chlorine does not exist, the chemical is a natural irritant and can exacerbate existing dermatological conditions, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Hives seemingly caused by chlorine exposure are actually irritant dermatitis due to chemical sensitivity.

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Full Answer

Because chlorine dries out the skin, exposure to the chemical can irritate existing dermatitis, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Chlorine can also irritate and sensitize the respiratory tract. An underlying case of asthma, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction or bronchospasm might be responsible for certain reactions seemingly linked to chlorine exposure. Normally those with a skin sensitivity treat the condition by using clean water to wash away any existing chlorine on the body, although a physician may prescribe a corticosteroid cream.

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