Maryana is an experienced and approachable down-to-earth consultant who specialises in eczema, allergies, food intolerances, gut healing and real food recipe development. She runs her busy online clinic from her home where she connects with families across the world including as the creator and host of the popular social media communities, The Healing Tribe and Real Food in New Zealand. Maryana draws on her professional skills as well as her personal experience with resolving her daughter's health symptoms to bring you realistic, practical and holistic wellness information with care and heart. She lives with her family and rescue animals in a coastal community in Northland, New Zealand.

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Chlorine and Eczema

Updated: Sep 25

This is a topic I see asked about a lot in The Healing Tribe.

Firstly, what is is chlorine? It is a common disinfectant with mild bleach properties - a gas at room temp but liquid when pressurised. Used in many types of household bleach products and of course for water treatment and pool sanitation. It's also a known irritant to our bodies.

So many parents of children with eczema find their skin is itchier and dryer when exposed to chlorine, especially when it's on a regular basis. Some of us are more sensitive than others - I know I can't stand the smell (it gives me a headache) and my skin feels a lot dryer afterwards which makes sense as it can affect the outer skin layer.

A big part of my approach in resolving eczema from the inside out is supporting the liver and gut to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, and reducing toxin load. We can't always avoid this trigger but we can take steps to reduce our exposure, and support our bodies when symptoms do appear.

Here are my tips for managing chlorine exposure:

BUY A DECHLORINATING SHOWER FILTER "We got the shower head filter attachment that Maryana recommended, it's made a big difference re skin dryness!"

The filter I used to recommend is no longer being sold so I'm looking for a replacement!

BUY A WHOLE HOUSE FILTER This is expensive but an excellent investment especially if you're not planning on moving any time soon, as then you're then also covered for drinking and washing water! Not only removes chlorine but also chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and not so nice bugs. Whole house seems a bit extreme? Bench top filters such as the Berkey are awesome.

TRY VITAMIN C IN THE BATH Ascorbic acid or Sodium Ascorbate (SA) are the safest compounds to neutralize chlorine. I recommend running the bath water extremely hot at first, adding a tablespoon while the tap is running and then allowing the bath to cool (10-15 minutes) to allow more of the chlorine dissipate via the steam. You can even add some SA powder to your shampoo and conditioner to help neutralize chlorine.

BEFORE SWIMMING Apply a natural emollient such as shea butter or emu oil to form a skin barrier, and minimise exposure.

AFTER SWIMMING Rinse off thoroughly and spray skin with a mix of 1t Sodium Ascorbate and water, and ideally follow with a bath of epsom salts and water.


Ones that don't contain bleach or other things that may add to the chemical load our liver has to process, such as Molly's Suds or Green Goddess.

Good luck. I hope this overview helps those dealing with chlorine in their water.

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Maryana Lishman is a certified Integrative Nutrition Coach who supports and empowers families to reach their health goals. All information, opinions, and recipes provided on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition and are not a substitute for advice from your doctor.  All words are her own and should not be taken as prescriptive or medical advice. Please seek professional advice before making changes to your diet or lifestyle. Throughout this site, there are various affiliate links where she may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, should you decide to purchase.

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