Does swimming in a pool count as a bath or shower?

Local News

It’s a question that’s been buzzing on social media. While many say it’s gross, others say it’s normal.

“I don’t bring soap to the pool and bathe there. I shower before and after. Like I would consider most people doing,” said  Jasmine Boeckel, Bismarck.

“If you are tenting and you have no other options. Yes, by all means, grab a bar of soap and rinse off. But I feel like the minute you get back to civilization you still should shower,” said Gabriella Boeckel, Bismarck.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 51 percent of Americans surveyed admitted to using swimming as an alternative to bathing. Many consider chlorine a disinfectant that works better than soap but that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

“They put chlorine into the water to kill bacteria. If you don’t get that chlorine rinsed off afterward with regular tap water, you can get burned or irritated, developing eczema,” said Horizon Clinic Dermatologist William Cornatzer.

Cornatzer says lakes and rivers are different. 

“There is no chloride in there. It is more natural more like your tap water,” he noted. “If you are using soap and cleaning yourself in the river or lake, you are polluting it because soaps have phosphates in it. When you are bathing in natural water, you are adding phosphates which cause algae blooms.”

And if you don’t shower after a swim in a Lake, you’re at risk of “swimmer’s itch.” That’s when a small microscopic worm goes into your skin. It can cause itching and bad dermatitis.

So, according to the expert, no matter how clean you feel, swimming in a pool or lake should be no substitute for soap and water in the shower or bathtub. Also, after you shower, it is advised you should use a moisturizer on your skin.

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