Stay fit and cool by swimming but guard against the health risks


ACCORDING to a recent survey, 24.2 per cent of Spaniards say they swim regularly and in the hot summer months there is no better way to stay fit.
However, swimming can have a few adverse effects on your health, number one being chlorine.
Allergies and asthma
The chlorine in swimming pools can cause allergies and asthma, particularly in young children. Whilst the chlorine fights the germs and bacteria in the water, it can dry out skin.
The Spanish Academy of Dermatology said the skin’s pH is 5.5 but the water’s is seven which leads to the skin becoming dry. To help avoid the problem have a good shower immediately after swimming and apply re-hydration creams at the end of the day.
Allergies can be caused by chloramine, the result of the chemical reaction between chlorine and other organic fluids in the water, such as saliva and uric acid from urine which may be in the water.
A study published in the American Chemistry Society said that in large amounts, chloramine can result in heart or brain damage.
Skin complaints
Hard water is widely found along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline and these water reserves have large amounts of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, which leads to more cases of eczema and dermatitis.
To help prevent skin problems among children in summer, try and minimise the effect of pool chemicals and products on their skin by using barrier creams that combine the calming and repairing properties of oatmeal extract and copper and zinc. At the end of the day shower using special hygiene products for atopic skins.
Red eyes
Eyes can become bloodshot after too much swimming so it is advisable to wear goggles and sunglasses at all times and remove contact lenses to prevent bacterial infections. If eye are sore at the end of the day, was them in a little sterile saline solution.
Green hairdresser
Copper sulphate which is added to water to kill fungi is what often reacts with blonde hair turning it green, not chlorine. A hair mask before swimming will help prevent hair reacting with the water.
Bad teeth
Swimming for more than six hours a week can affect your teeth as they are exposed to large amounts of water that has been chemically treated. These products lead to a pH level higher than saliva meaning that the saliva proteins decompose quickly, forming organic deposits or brown plaque on the teeth.” Fluoride toothpaste will help prevent the yellowish-brown look.

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