I Have Red Skin Around My Eyes After Swimming

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A woman in a bikini squinting with red under her eyes. (Image: Oleksandr Kulichenko/Hemera/Getty Images)

Swimming provides a good, low-impact form of exercise, but an allergic reaction or other eye condition may result in redness around your eye after a swimming session. Additional symptoms may occur, including a rash around your eye or discomfort on the surface of your eye. Knowing possible causes for your skin redness, as well as any other symptoms, will help you discuss your condition with your doctor.

Chlorine and Pool Chemicals

Chemicals such as chlorine used in swimming pools may cause an allergic reaction. If this occurs you may have redness or other signs of irritation on other areas of your skin as well. Since chlorine takes time to dissipate when it's added to the pool, make sure you're waiting until the chlorine levels out to 1.0 - 3.0 ppm.

Water pH Levels

The water in swimming pools needs to have a good pH level -- the acidity level of a solution. If the pH level is too high or too low, you have an increased risk for skin and eye irritation, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep the pH level in the swimming pool in line with your own pH level which is between 7.2 and 7.8, to lessen the chances of irritating your eyes.

Swim Goggles

If you wear swim goggles and notice redness around the area where the goggles come in contact with your skin, it may simply be from the contact pressure from the goggles. This should dissipate within a few minutes to an hour, depending on how long you wore the goggles and how tight they were. But you could have a reaction to the plastic, rubber or other material on the goggles, which could produce redness or rash in the area of contact. If you have a known reaction to a certain product such as latex, read the packaging carefully to select goggles that do not contain a possible allergen.

Dry Eye

Your eyes need a balanced layer of tear film to coat the surface, and if you do not have the necessary tears, or if you have poor tear quality, you may have a condition known as dry eye. This causes irritation and discomfort to the surface of your eye. Dry eye may cause redness to the white of your eye, but you may also have redness on the rims of your eyelids. Swimming without goggles can result in dry eye.

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