Posted By: ozroberts
Date: Monday, 7 January 2008, at 8:56 a.m.
Some time ago I posted about this on Slowtwitch. Going to try here because it's still happening and my doctor's advice is not much use (don't ever swim again).
I have had eczema all my life, but for most of my life swimming hasn't caused problems for it. Then 18-months ago I started getting allergic reactions to something. My eyes become blood-shot, extremely itchy and the skin around them becomes red, inflammed and then very dry and cracked. At times it was so bad I had to stay off work because I was too sensitive to the glare of my computer screen.
Last year I managed up to my key race on 1 swim per week. After it I took 4 months off swimming to give my skin time to heal completely. However it's still so sensitive I can't wash my face with soap.
Last Wednesday I got back into a pool again (a different pool, because I thought the problem might be related to the cleaning chemicals or something), and had a horrendous reaction that is only just beginning to subside.
I've now been through:
- carefully rinsing my eyes after swimming
- only washing my face with water
- four different sets of goggles (two normal, two mask types)
- treating my skin with petroleum jelly before swimming
- swimming with a nose-clip
- several different pools and open-water swim venues
I'm seriously considering giving up triathlon because I can't swim anything like as well as I used to (not that I was ever that good!), but I really don't want to.
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