Why Do We Sunburn Faster In Water?
“It’s pretty easy to tell when you’re getting a sunburn if you’re lying out by the pool. The tricky part is being able to decipher when you’ll turn a shade of tomato red while relaxing in the water. Submerging yourself, even slightly, can lower your body temperature and make you forget all about the sun’s UV rays, which might mean sunscreen is the last thing on your mind. However, it’s crucial to uphold routine sunscreen rituals, because not only can you get a burn if you’re in the salt system pool, but it may be worse, as water reflects the sun.”
“Sunburns and the effects of prolonged sun exposure damage the outer layer of the skin. Pale or light skin turns red after over-exposure to sunlight. Irritation, swelling and later sloughing off of dead skin occurs. Eventually, the body produces some melanin in reaction to the damage, and light skin tans. Some people, such as red heads, never tan and always burn. Others burn on excess exposure, only to turn tan later. Both acute and chronic exposure to the sun dries out the skin and leads to wrinkling and creasing of the skin, and potentially, different types of skin cancers.”
“Chlorine is a safeguard and an irritant as well. The chlorine in a pool disinfects the germs swimmers encounter in the water, and in the process, it creates byproducts that cause swimmers distress. Chloramine compounds are the culprits for the intense smell of some chlorinated pools, as the red eyes and runny noses of its users. In addition, chlorine sanitation sometimes causes itchy and dry skin. Under-hydrated, chafed skin is more vulnerable to damage from sun exposure, so frequent pool users might feel the sun on their skin before non-swimmers do, according to “Swimmer,” a publication of U.S. Master Swimming.”
“Chlorine does not increase the risk of sunburn, nor does it create an unusual hazard to people swimming with sunburned skin. Rather, it further dries out already irritated and inflamed skin, accentuating existing discomfort. Infection is not a problem, though, as the proper chlorination of pool-water minimizes the risk. People who choose to bathe outside with existing sunburns and further expose skin to UV rays might cause long-term damage to their health.”
In short, avoid prolonged periods in the swimming pool if you have not used a high-SPF sunblock. Re-apply the sunblock every hour, especially because the water in the pool will help remove it.
“Apply a sunscreen and reapply often when you go in the water. Wash off thoroughly after swimming in chlorinated pools, using specialized shampoos that help to eliminate chlorine on skin. Apply generous amounts of moisturizer to dry skin, but avoid using any scented products on inflamed or cracked skin. Chlorine further dries out sun-damaged and irritable skin, so staying away from the pool for a day or two is a good idea.”