Swimming regularly may cause many people to develop dry skin (xerosis).


Risk factors for xerosis:

(1) frequency and duration of swimming

(2) swimming during the winter

(3) nature of the water used for swimming, especially concentration of various chemicals

(4) type of soap used for bathing or showering

(5) frequency and duration of bathing

(6) hot water used for bathing or showering

(7) failure to use a moisturizer after bathing or swimming

(8) vigorous rubbing with a towel


The frequency and severity of xerosis after swimming can be reduced by avoiding the risk factors. For a frequent swimmer, risk factors 4 to 8 are the ones that can be most easily corrected.



(1) Use an oil-based soap.

(2) Limit showers to rinsing off.

(3) Use warm rather than hot water.

(4) Use a moisturizer after bathing.

(5) Pat dry with a towel.


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