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How To Deal With Swimming and Psoriasis?

Swimming and psoriasis. I never thought I would ever use these two words together. For the first 40 years of my life, I had only been to a pool 3 times and twice I was asked to leave. Once I started loving myself and not caring about what other people thought, I started living my best life. It took me a long time to get to this point.

I just recently realized that I love swimming. I have been dealing with psoriasis almost all of my life. As you know, psoriasis is a very personal disease, and we all have our triggers. Of course, this varies significantly from person to person.

Protecting my skin while swimming

I am 66 years old now, and I want to share how I protect my skin from severe itching and plaque while enjoying a little time swimming. I would like to have my own pool in the backyard, but I don’t. So, it’s off to public ones I go.

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First off, we need to know the difference between chlorinated water and salt water. They both impact the skin. Chlorine is used to disinfect and distill pool water. It’s exfoliating properties that may help clean off the dead skin, making your psoriasis a little better, so they say.

However, long exposure to chlorine water may irritate the skin and cause dryness. Whenever I go swimming in public pools, I make sure to apply a thick layer of water-proof moisturizer. Also, don’t forget to take a shower before and after exposure to the pool, washing the skin to clear off any residue of chlorine so that it may not worsen the symptoms is always a good idea.

Individuals can vary as we are all different. Some people might find chlorine water more soothing, while others think that it can trigger their flare-ups.

Finding salt water helpful

Let me tell you something very interesting. I visited my niece in Florida and decided to go to the beach. It turned out to be a miracle for my skin. The saltwater cleared up some of the huge itchy patches I had all over my hands and legs. My skin felt very soothing. I now believe that sun, salt water, and less stress are the ultimate treatment for us. Those rays had a very positive impact on treating my symptoms.

I want to get a saltwater pool system for my backyard. But, that is only a dream. If you happen to have a backyard pool, make sure to shower and apply fragrance-free waterproof moisturizer and sunblock to your skin. Also, I don’t spend more than an hour in a pool. This is what my dermatologist told me anyway.

If you have psoriatic arthritis along with psoriasis, then swimming can ease your symptoms. It's a very good low-impact exercise that would alleviate physical discomfort and stiffness.

A friend of mine from a support group told me how his skin got extremely irritated, and his symptoms got worse because of swimming in saltwater. It could have been because of the abrasive nature of salt. He had severe lesions that got agitated. So, my advice is to consult a dermatologist for advice, especially if you have severe psoriasis.

We are all in this together.

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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