Getting injured might be unavoidable many times. It is pretty valid to consider if it is reasonable to swim when one is nursing a wound at the time. There are some controversies when it comes to answering this question.
I know that you are worried because you feel that going into a swimming pool might cause an infection. Yes, I understand that.
Suppose the wound is tiny, like a paper cut, which you can barely notice. You should not worry so much. It is almost a hundred percent unlikely for you to get an infection with a cut that small.
According to an infectious disease specialist called Elizabeth Wang, it is generally safe to go into a swimming pool with an open cut, speaking from the angle of skin and soft tissue infection. If the swimming pool is well chlorinated, the chlorine would have done most of the job by killing most bacteria in the swimming pool.
Even at this, she is still advised against swimming with an open cut since there is still a slim chance of infection. It is better to be safe than sorry.
An internal medicine specialist also mentioned that if the injuries or wounds are pretty large. Swimming is not an option. One should let it heal and get dried off before continuing one’s swimming passion.
The skin is more like a cover for infection, and the presence of a wound means the skin cannot protect from infection at that point. So, if the pool has bacteria, one might become infected.
What Kind Of Wound Is It?
The kind of wound you have matters too. Is it internal, body, or facial wounds? It is still okay for chlorine in a swimming pool to contact skin wounds. When it comes to wounds in places like the lining of the mouth or the eye, it is dangerous if chlorinated water comes in contact with the wound. The lining in these areas mentioned are not so strong against bacteria, and they can be easily irritated.
For facial wounds like acne, chlorine in swimming pool water might greatly benefit. Acne always has oil built around the skin pore where the acne is active. Chlorine dries up things, so when it comes in contact with the wound, it can dry up the oil, which might kill off the bacteria.
You must know that this can take a different turn if the wound is exposed to chlorinated water for long. So, don’t take this as a medication for acne. See a doctor.
It is terrible to have chlorinated water touch a fresh wound, emphasizing it being fresh. Try to keep a fresh wound away from chlorinated water – swimming pool in this case.
When You Should Not Swim With a Wound
Some specific situations will warrant that you try as much as possible to stay away from swimming, by all means. The situations include when:
- You have an open sore that obviously can easily take in water.
- Your wound is still so fresh, probably still bleeding.
- Your wound looks somehow red. You should halt your swimming plans.
- When you have very sensitive skin. You should not expose yourself to chlorinated water – swimming pool, then.
- If the wound is facial, internal, or you have an ear infection, try as much as possible to stay away from swimming pools. This will help avoid any impending complications.
Can I Cover My Wounds and Go Swimming?
If you think it is necessary to swim, and you are considering covering your wound, it is okay as long as it is not so elaborate or large.
Why Do You Need To Cover Your Wound Before You Swim?
It can be tempting to swim and get yourself refreshed. If you cannot stay away from swimming, you need to have your wound covered. This is really important for many reasons.
- You might be at risk of infections. If you have your wound covered, you’d be safe, and I am sure you prefer that to be at the risk of being infected with bacteria.
- If swimming is public, it is dangerous, increasing the risk. Public swimming pools have a lot more traffic than private swimming pools.
- It helps your wound heal fast. When wounds contact water, it might delay the healing process.
How To Cover Your Wound Before You Go Swimming?
Do you feel your wound is not large enough to stop you from swimming? And that you need to swim? Then it is alright you cover your wound. To do that, your significant needs are waterproof bandages/tape. This will serve as a line of defense to water coming in contact with your wound when you are in the swimming pool.
Some use petroleum jelly, but tapes/waterproof bandages are better. Petroleum jelly becomes less effective when in water for a long while.
You can make use of waterproof plasters to keep the wound dry. For your information, waterproof plaster is specifically made for purposes like this – protection from chemicals in swimming pools, etc. The usual adhesive dressing is not a good solution, hence the need for waterproof plasters.
There are several waterproof plaster brands, including Elastoplast. Make sure to follow the detailed instructions for the waterproof plaster while using it. The waterproof plaster keeps your wound from coming in contact with water. So, you don’t have to worry.
As much as swimming is a hobby you enjoy, do well to allow your wound to heal and scab before you resume your hobby. This is to keep you safe from any risk.