Are you Sensitive to Chlorine?


Do you react after swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool? I get hives every time I go swimming, even when I go to pools which operate mostly on ozone and only use a very small amount of what they call “free chlorine”. I have always wondered if there is anything I can do to reduce the skin reactions I get and worry that it may in fact be affecting my asthma. The American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI) has great information on this topic. They mention that if you get hives or a rash after swimming in a chlorinated pool it does not mean that you have a chlorine allergy, however it may mean that you have a chlorine sensitivity or “irritant dermatitis” (like a chemical burn), which is caused by hypersensitivity to this natural irritant. If you get a rash or hives from the pool, have you found anything that helps to reduce the amount of hives you get? For my breathing I do take my inhaler prior to swimming to prevent an asthma flare-up. Have you found certain pools affect the rash, hives or other skin reactions you get from swimming pools? Do you notice a difference with indoor pools versus outdoor pools?

ACAAI Chlorine Allergy


There will be the new writer for this blog.

After writing this Allergy Comfort Zone blog for the last 4 years, I am passing it over to  Erika Ladouceur who promises to keep it active and true to its beginnings. Erika lives in Canada so she might have a little different perspective on allergies.

I want to thank all the readers who follow Allergy Comfort Zone and all the many reader who have left comments. I may occasionally write a blog on one of my favorite subjects; skin allergies, contact dermatitis and eczema.

Thank you, have a healthy and happy holiday and new year.

Dayne Sislen

Would anyone like to take over this allergy blog?

acz_50.gifI love writing this blog and hearing from people who are suffering from the same allergies I am. I like to think I have helped a few readers along the way. My life is very busy right now and I am finding I have less and less time to devote to this blog. I must simplify my life to survive. If anyone is seriously interested, let me know. I also own the matching URL , a Twitter account and Facebook account in the same name. This WordPress account gets about 100 visits a day.  This WordPress account is not monetized but it can be, by using the matching URL. I have not kept up with the Facebook and Twitter accounts lately.

May is Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month

May is a peak time for people dealing with allergies and asthma and a perfect time to raise awareness about these diseases.

What are allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to allergens that usually do not cause a reaction in most people. Some of the symptoms of allergies include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and itching; some allergies (food or drug) can cause an extreme response (anaphylaxis) that is life-threatening, is a medical emergency, and is the most severe allergic reaction. If you or someone around you is having an anaphylactic reaction, please call 911 right away.

For those with extreme allergies that cause anaphylaxis, I suggest reading about them on this WebMD web site.

What to wear when your clothes make you itch

I have eczema and contact dermatitis and my clothes make me itch. A lot of other things also tend to irritate my skin. Here is a list of some of the things I am sensitive to: red, orange and blue disperse dye, laundry detergents with perfumes or dyes, nylon, polyester, wool, household cleaning products, water repellant, wrinkle free and stain resistance fabric finishes.

It’s very hard for me to wear most clothes, especially dark-colored clothes. My secret, at least in the cooler months, is to wear white or cream 100% silk long underwear under all my clothes. I buy mine from Winter Silk and Terramar silk from Amazon.

The long johns are very thin and really do not make your clothes look bulky. I always wash all new clothes including silk 26769several times in a perfume-free and dye-free detergent and rinse them twice before wearing them.

I recently ran across a company who sells 100% pure medical grade silk  long underwear. Their product sounds pretty impressive, but the items are very expensive, so I have not been able to try them out. The name is Derma Silk they are located in Canada, the link is

When summer comes I switch over to wearing well washed and rinsed 100% cotton fabrics in white and very pale colors. My favorite combination is a well washed white top with faded khaki bottoms. Some brands of blue jeans are better for my skin than others. The only way to know for sure is to try them. Levis 501 are suppose to use Indigo dye which may rub off on your skin, but should not be as irritating as synthetic dyes. I like to wear well washed Eddie Bauer jeans, they fit me well and do not irritate my skin.

A New Year, Start Fresh

Every year at this time, I clean up all the holiday decorations and start to reorganize and clean. It’s a new year so Toxic Cleaning ProductsI want a new beginning. This year I was sick with a virus over the entire holidays. I was very conscious of keeping my home germ free and safe for my family. No one else got sick, so I must have done a good job.

Keeping your house clean so you don’t suffer from Winter allergies is very similar to keeping it free from germs. We can’t see germs and, even though they are much larger we can barely see pollen and dander.

When you are closed up in a house all Winter, dust is the enemy. Dust particles are composed of pollen, pet dander, dust mites, lead dust, pest droppings, chemical contaminates and pesticides. Not exactly what you want to be touching and breathing in all the time.

Dry dusting and sweeping just stirs up dust. Always use a vacuum with low emissions and a HEPA filter. I have a whole house vacuum that vents out into my garage. I love the idea of getting everything completely out of the house. Use a barely damp cloth to dust your furniture.

Use chemical free cleaners made of household products. Four tablespoons baking soda in one quart of water is a good general cleaner. Vinegar and salt mixed together makes a good surface cleaner. Lemon and salt is good for stubborn stains.

Does Grandma know best?

I will not take credit for this advice. I found it in my local newspaper in the Peoples Pharmacy column by Joe and Terry Graedon.  I hope I am giving them enough credit for this advice.

I often write about eczema, contact dermatitis and other skin rashes, this advice from grandmothers may help some people. I find “Old Wives Tales”, “Grandma’s Wit” and “Grandma’s Remedies” to be very helpful. If you think about it, a lot of our “modern” treatments are based on these old remedies (with a lot of added preservatives and added cost).

Here are a few from the Peoples Pharmacy

1. For eczema try mixing a non-scented simple lotion like baby lotion with olive oil. Rub on the affected area three times a day. After your shower or bath and two other times. It is supposed to clear up eczema in two weeks.

My experience: I tried using olive oil and lotion several years ago, it did make my dry skin skin feel better, but the greasiness of the oil and the olive oil smell turned me off.

2. Another remedy I haven’t tried yet, but I plan to starting today. Drink Oolong tea. I don’t know how much you need to drink, but it is supposed to help in four weeks. This shouldn’t be too hard for me to do because Oolong tea is my favorite tea.

Hope this helps with your eczema. Visit the Peoples Pharmacy, it is very interesting to read the articles.

Share your Grandma’s Wit with us, maybe it will help someone. Please comment below.

%d bloggers like this: