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Thread: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

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    Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    I have been trying to get our pool chemestry to the point where my daughter with eczema can comfortably use it. Right now the pool chemestry is as follows
    pH 7.6
    FC 3.8
    CC 0
    CH 300
    TA 100
    CYA 95
    Borates 50

    I know given my cya level the chlorine is low but even thought the pool has been over 90F for the past 4 months I have not had to shock/slam once and pH has been very stable, less than a half gallon of acid used during the past four months. Chlorine demand has also been very low. No algee issues what so ever. The water has remained very clear, I can clearly see the phillips head screws fastening the drain cover that is 8 feet below the water while standing at the edge of the pool. Since adding the borates 4 months ago she has had far less of an issue, but will still breakout if she stays in the water for more than a couple of hours. Does anybody have any thoughts on adding some salt to the pool to help soften the water even more? I was thinking of trying about 1000ppm.

    The pool is gunite with a plaster finish, I run the BBB method and use liquid chlorine. I have thought about going to a salt water chlorine generator but have been reluctant to try this due to the large amount of natural stone used on the coping, waterfall and surrounding deck. Any input would be greatly appriciated.

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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    Low chlorine might be the problem. Some doctors recommend adding bleach to bath water to kill bacteria on the skin. You might find that maintaining the fc at 10 to 15 % of the cya works better.

    Check with your doctor to see if they think that increasing the fc would be worth trying.

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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    1000 ppm for salt is not much at all. The ocean is at 32000 ppm. Most SWG pools are at around 4000 ppm.
    Do you know someone with a SWG pool your daugher can try and see how she (her skin) likes it? How about the ocean? Can she swim in the ocean, comfortably, for long periods of time?
    Guess what I am trying to say is that there are a few things you can try before adding salt to your pool water.
    12K IG SWG Pool
    In the Swamp
    Always full of leaves

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Low chlorine might be the problem. Some doctors recommend adding bleach to bath water to kill bacteria on the skin. You might find that maintaining the fc at 10 to 15 % of the cya works better.

    Check with your doctor to see if they think that increasing the fc would be worth trying.
    +1

    See this article from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

    It's interesting as they recommend 1/2 cup of 6% bleach in a "full bath". My "full bath" at home holds about 40 gallons of water. So if you use pool math, that works out to ~48ppm FC in water with no CYA! That seems awfully high to me. I realize that the hypochlorite will dissipate quickly but even so, that's a .... shocking .....value (pun intended )

    I have atopic dermatitis on my hands. It's exacerbated by physical damage to the skin. When I used to "turn a wrench" a lot, contact with metal tools and mechanical abrasion of the skin would cause flare ups. Wearing vinyl gloves and keeping my hands hydrated and moisturized helped reduce flare-ups. Eczema is ultimately an immune mediated response. Many things can set off your immune system and cause the eczema to flare up. If bacterial exposures cause the immune system to react, I suspect the bleach baths help by reducing the amount of skin borne bacteria.

    As always, talk to a board certified dermatologist. They will know all of the latest research.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Low chlorine might be the problem. Some doctors recommend adding bleach to bath water to kill bacteria on the skin. You might find that maintaining the fc at 10 to 15 % of the cya works better.

    Check with your doctor to see if they think that increasing the fc would be worth trying.
    My 4.5 year old also has had eczema since he was an infant. Things have really improved over the last 2 years. However, the doctors at Phoenix children's hospital advised against bleach baths. They have a different approach and feel that bleach can actually increase the level of breakouts. We use prescription ointment and cetaphil restoraderm wash and lotion. When we started in the cetaphil we saw a huge improvement. My son also has allergies which the doctors think contributed to the breakouts. Therefore, We also use a hepa filtration system in his room at night. Also got ride of all carpet and we take Juice Plus. Anyways, back to pools, he breaks out whenever he swims in high chlorine pools. We cannot go to public pools. Hence, we are starting construction on our pool. Our neighbor has a salt pool and he does very well swimming in the salt pool, therefore we are going with salt. We will still have to tinker with how much chlorine the salt system is generating. But it seems the salt in the water is easier on his skin.


    Freeform /620 Surface/110 perimeter/20k gal/ Raised bond beam/Baja shelf (2)//Pentair- Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp// Easytouch, C&C 520 Cartridge, Intellichlor SWCG// A&A- Magnasweep in-floor, LeafVac, Venturi Skimmer,// Mini-pebble (Aqua Blue w abalone shell)//4 Pentair Globrite LEDs//3 sheer descents//Travertine coping and decking.

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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    Note that a fc that is 15% of the cya is not equivalent to a bleach bath. A bleach bath is hundreds of times stronger in terms of actual hypochlorous acid. My main points were that low fc/cya could allow bacteria to grow and cause problems and that a higher fc would probably not have an adverse effect.

    In any case, consult a qualified doctor for guidance.

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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    I would recommend a SLAM, as outlined in pool school. Until I did one, my skin itched like crazy! You have to get all the organic material out of the pool, so your combined chlorine is as close to zero as possible. Then be extra vigilant that your pH is at the right level, and chlorine levels are high enough to keep the combined chlorine at bay over the long term. Clean your skimmers, and pool daily to keep organic material out of the pool that might raise the combined chlorine.

    Now that I do this, and no more itching.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Chemistry help for daughter with eczema

    Sislerg, your mileage may vary, but I've suffered eczema plus dishydrotic eczema all my life....until I bought a house with a pool and used TFP methods. Now, it might be the water, it might be the sun, or as with autoimmune conditions, it might also in part be that the pool and water are very relaxing to me

    The dishydrotic eczema on my hands and feet completely resolved by the first season. They used to blister and crack and bleed. The difference is unbelievable

    My water is 3500 ppm in salinity, but not because I'm on saltwater generator (yet...heading that direction, I think, come spring ...I use softened water to fill and remediate the well water, which is why my salinity is high. I do dose borates to 50 ppm and maintain, and suspect the borates are key to the eczema resolving.

    Since the cya and salt are the only real differences in our water, why not first try the correct, higher CYA:chlorine ratio and see if her eczema improves?

    With salt, if you add, you may STILL have problems with natural stone without the benefit of swg...but that said, I do love the feel of my salt water
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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