Off to the swimming pool: tips for swimming

Splash around without regrets - the refreshing water invigorates young and old. In this way, leisure time fun remains without unpleasant consequences for your health

Wet leisure time fun: What would summer be without a visit to the swimming pool?

© Getty Images / Stone Sub / Thomas Barwick

Skin: protection and care

If the skin turns red, the chlorinated water may be to blame. "Some people are sensitive," says Juliane Stark-Kreul, manager of a pharmacy in Marl, North Rhine-Westphalia. Good skin care, including a moisturizing cream, helps against this. The most common cause of red skin is the sun.

Dr. Markus Reinholz, dermatologist at the University of Munich Hospital, urgently advises good protection. This not only prevents sunburn and premature skin aging, but also skin cancer. The lighter the complexion, the greater the risk.

"The skin never forgets a ray," says Reinholz. The cream or lotion should have a sun protection factor of at least 30 - "preferably 50", advises the dermatologist. "Between eleven and three there is no sun," adds Stark-Kreul. Then you should avoid direct sun and not do without creaming even under an umbrella.

Dry hearing

If the world suddenly sounds dull after swimming or there is a cracking noise in your ear, water has accumulated in your ear canal. Rocking your head back and forth usually allows it to drain away. By putting the flat of your hand on your ear and quickly pulling it away, you can virtually suck the water out.

"Sometimes it also swells up a plug of earwax," says Stark-Kreul. In no case should you poke your ears with cotton swabs yourself. In the pharmacy there are means that soften the lard. A stubborn plug must be removed by the doctor.

The water that has penetrated can also become a breeding ground for germs - the ear canal becomes inflamed, itches and hurts. Even then, you should consult an ENT doctor. As a preventive measure, wearing earplugs can help. For children in particular, Stark-Kreul advises them to be secured with a tight swimming cap.

Swimming goggles

Often the eyes are red and stinging at the end of a day's bathing. "The chlorinated water irritates the conjunctiva," explains pharmacist Stark-Kreul. For relief, she recommends herbal eye drops with eyebright extract or special wipes. If the eyes are still red or even sticky after two days, it is probably an infection.

In the event of severe complaints or if the eyesight is impaired, Stark-Kreul advises to consult a doctor. The symptoms should not be underestimated: conjunctivitis is extremely contagious, even from one eye to the other. Swimming goggles can help prevent this.

Causes of Itchy Skin

If the skin starts to itch after swimming and pustules form, this can have various causes.

One reason can be the sunscreen. Stark-Kreul recommends sun protection gels without emulsifiers against so-called Mallorca acne. Sometimes the polluters live on the muddy banks of a natural pool where seabirds feel comfortable. They are the host for tiny flukes, the cercaria. Their larvae can cause an allergic reaction if they come into contact with the skin.

It is not dangerous. "But pustules form that itch heavily," says dermatologist Reinholz. Creams with polidocanol, cortisone, or antihistamines relieve symptoms. As a preventive measure, it helps to apply a greasy cream or waterproof sunscreen before bathing and then to dry off well.

The cause of itchy pustules can also be found in the grass. Various types of mites live there and can attack human skin. Some plants also contain phototoxic substances that make the skin sensitive to light on contact. "Meadow grass dermatitis develops," says Reinholz. Here, too, can
treat only the symptoms. The best protection is simply a blanket.

Change wet clothes

Germs love it moist. It is therefore important to change wet swimwear immediately. Especially in women, germs easily cause bladder infections: it burns when going to the toilet.

Pharmacist Juliane Stark-Kreul from Marl

© W & B / Carsten Behler

"Only in a few cases is an antibiotic needed immediately," says Stark-Kreul, who specializes in herbal medicines. Studies show that. The symptoms can therefore often be treated well with the pain reliever ibuprofen. The pharmacist also recommends herbal supplements. Good advice is important: "There are big differences here."

To rinse out the bacteria, Stark-Kreul recommends using special teas and the sugar D-mannose. If there is pain in the kidney area, if there is a fever, if the symptoms are severe or if they do not go away after three days, you should see a doctor. This is especially true for pregnant women and the chronically ill.

Beware of warts

If warts form on the feet or other areas of the body, the pathogen has often been caught in the swimming pool. "It can be caused by human papilloma viruses," says Reinholz.

Harmless warts, which children especially bring with them from the swimming pool, are caused by a pathogen from the smallpox virus family. Most bumps go away on their own. But they can be contagious.

They can be treated with a solution of salicylic or formic acid or by freezing. "Good foot care helps preventively," the dermatologist knows - for example with a cream containing urea.

Flip-flops help

The pathogens of foot and nail fungus also lurk in the swimming pool. The tip from dermatologist Reinholz: "Always wear flip-flops." After swimming you shouldn't forget to dry off your toes.

If the skin itches and peels off there or on the soles of the feet or in scales, you have probably caught a fungus anyway. "You should treat him consistently," advises Stark-Kreul. There are also over-the-counter anti-fungal creams.

During therapy, towels, bed linen and socks should be washed at at least 60 degrees. Because athlete's foot can quickly turn into a stubborn nail fungus. The nail becomes thick and brittle, turns yellowish. "The treatment is often tedious," says Reinholz. Special nail polishes are available. Sometimes it is necessary to take prescription tablets.