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Avoid Strange Swimming Rashes

By Meghan Bramer, MMS, PA-C

Swimming is a popular past-time for many families. Most kids enjoy spending the day out by the pool, but this can wreak havoc on the skin. While you’re using sunscreen to prevent sunburn, you may have also noticed that your child has developed dry itchy patches of skin, warts or even small little white blisters called molluscum. These are all common skin conditions that can be caused by swimming.

If your child, or even yourself, has a history of eczema, swimming can cause this type of skin condition to flare. Water draws moisture out of the skin, making it more dry than usual. To prevent this, make sure to shower and apply a moisturizer to skin right after swimming, or at least as soon as possible. If necessary, apply moisturizer twice daily until dryness subsides. If your skin is especially itchy and red, even after using moisturizer, you may need a prescription topical steroid cream.

Warts and molluscum lesions arise more commonly from swimming in community pools rather than lakes or oceans. Both of these skin lesions are caused by a virus that is transmitted by contact. When the virus (which is spread more easily in water) comes in contact with the skin, it will cause those bumps. Warts and molluscum lesions are benign and can be cured easily by “freezing” with liquid nitrogen or by applying topical creams.

The summer months are a great time to be outdoors at the nearby lake or community pool. With the proper sun protection and skin health preparedness, this play-time can be safe, fun, and stress-free.



Topics and Subtopics: Children's Health & Skin Health

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