Swimming with lupus

Hi. I am feeling a little bit adventurous and I will like to take up swimming. I did not learn to swim when I was young and I would like to start now. The thing is, I know most public pools are treated with chlorine. So, does chlorine have any effect on us? Furthermore, I learned that some pools uses UV treatment... I immediately felt that wasn't for me. Am I right?

Any advice will be helpful please...

Oh, I am on 30mg prednisolone, 1g of MMF b/d, HCQ, Calcichew D3 Forte, Atorvastatin 20mg daily.

So my immunity is pretty low...

But I really want to learn to swim...


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22 Replies

  • Hi, I can only speak from personal experience, that I go to hydrotherapy at my hospital, and have not had any adverse effects, by chlorine or uv lights. But we are all different. Hope you get to learn to swim. Good goal to aim for.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience... I guess I will never know what I might be allergic to if I didn't try... So why not.... Roll on summer!

  • Hi there.

    I've been fine swimming too (in pools and open water). Sometimes I get a minor skin reaction to water but it goes after a few hours, and it doesn't lead to any other problems, so I've deduced that it is a contact allergy rather than being lupus related.

    Good luck with swimming. Pace yourself, and enjoy it!

  • Thanks Lupylass... I think i will have to go for indoor pools tho. I will pace myself and try to enjoy it before another lupus fit... Sometimes it just knocks on the door when you are feeling your best... Cheers :)

  • I swim once a week and have no adverse effects even though my skin is generally a problem. It's the best exercise possible when you have joint and muscle pain. Go for it!

  • Thanks. I will... :)

  • I have been swimming on a Daily basis for the last 30 years, I used to go 7 days a week and do a Mile a day. But after my extensive Spine opp I had to learn backstroke (Which is hard when you are 66 years old ) and have cut down to 5 days a week. Make sure you have a Good Shower, we have a disabled room so it is private and I can strip off and make sure I have all the chlorine off. Good tip put some conditioner on your hair BEFORE you go in the pool, the chlorine can not penetrate. Once every 2 months I use 1 desert spoon of Fairy Liquid (original) to strip any chlorine left in. My hairdresser advised this, then you just shampoo and condition as normal.. I also use Diprobase cream to rub into my arms and legs as well, stops them drying out. You can get this on prescription so check how much it is at your Pharmacy and it might be cheaper than the script. price. I get mine free so have it from the doctors.

    A MUST is get some wax ear plugs it stops any germs getting in. I also advise goggles and swim with your head under as this keeps your body in the correct position and stops Neck problems.

    Bet you are sorry you asked ! Seriously I started doing just ONE length and just built up from there. DO try you feel so much better and while you are concentrating on your swimming you ease the pain. YOU GO GIRL. but use the tips I have had to learn the hard way. ENJOY.xxx

  • Swimming everyday for 30 years? Wow! You defo deserve an Olympic medal... even five days a week is something... Double thumbs up for your passion and indulgence.... Thanks for the best info tho... I am male and have a short hair so i don't know if the conditioner gonna help much... But I will definitely go for the ear wax plugs and goggles. I heard the chlorine hurts the eyes... I will go and let my my body decides for itself....

    I feel hopeful.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Hi I have been swimming since diagnosis, 4 years ago. I absolutely love it and it keeps me active, mobile and gets all muscles working! I have made lots of friends and enjoy swimming and aqua. It is also a stress relief mechanism for me. I try and go 3 times a week which is enough for me, so that I do not overdo it. When I swim and am in the water I feel normal and very content. On land, it is a different story as I have muscle disease and struggle to walk etc. Swimming is one of the few sports left I can manage.

    It puts a real smile on my face and uplifts my spirits. Hope this helps. Renu xxx

  • Every little helps. Thanks so much.

    The ocean started with a single drop of water :)

  • I went swimming today and felt normal and had no joint pain. It was wonderful feeling normal for a change!

  • I swim at least four times a week, just light swimming, I also join on with aqua classes. Sewell..im sure you willl be fine, if anythi g water is brillant for your joints.


  • Thanks Jeevan. Gave me more hope

  • On the same drug regime and swim 3 times a week with no adverse effects! Get in that pool! x

  • Swimming here I come... WAHOOOO!

  • I have trouble breathing in some swimming pools with a lot of chlorine. I almost feel like I get an asthma attack. I don't think my lungs like it. Good luck. Swimming is good for you. Maybe swimming in a pond or lake is a good idea in the summer. I stay away from chlorine as much as I can.

  • I am a beginner and going to take classes, so the lake or pond not yet until I am ready... I do hope I have no problems coz if I do I dont think I will ever learn to swim.


  • Thanks people. You have all been really helpful. I will learn to swim this summer and lupus is not gonna stop me!... I hope. I will take all necessary precautions though,

    Thanks again

  • Awesome Nazia....make sure someone is with you. Don't swim alone... Good luck!

  • I feel really miffed now that I seem to be the only one getting an extreme reaction to chlorine. I returned to swimming to try and get fit after being diagnosed a year ago. It was great at first and then my skin started to itch beyond all reasoning and last for 3 - 4 days in spite of "creaming up" pre swim and showering thoroughly afterwards. I was doing 30 lengths before and doing a hydro class so am a bit stumped what to do next. One fellow loopie suggested I wear a wet suit which really wouldn't be a good look at my size and i really do not wish to draw attention to myself any more than I have to! I loved being in the water and feeling "normal" for a short while. I cannot walk far as my muscles tire very easily either so back to drawing board of finding chlorine free alternative water. good luck with your swimming though!

  • Hi Fitchick 1 ... I suffer badly with Discoid Lesions and Photosensitivity ... I cant go out in the sun or go in a Chloride Pool ... it takes 10 minutes and Im suffering especially that night and the next day. My Derma put me on Telfast to help as I get prickly heat which attacks my joints affected with Arthritis ... Your not alone ... Im trying to work out what I can do ... not much apart from stay in doors ... I cant understand why either .. someone else I know has Lupus but she goes on holiday, swims etc and it doesn't affect her either .... seems our Lupus is more disabling :( I long for rainy cloudy days were I can enjoy the outside a little ... a nice clear lake would be good :) -x-

  • OMG...i know this feed is from a few yrs bk but fitchick1...i think im having the same exact problem and your comments has alarmed me! I took an aquazumba class like 3-4 wks ago and started with rashes on both arms, neck and ears. I thawt it was my sunblock i was allergic to after dr prescribed me a cream. This was after i attempted to heal myself with a previous script from my derm last yr which seemed to help but then the rash got worse again. Well this cream i have now duznt wrk at all keep in mind during these 3-4 wks since the aquazumba, i decided to do a mini triathlon so ive been in a pool literally for 2wks straight and now the rash has spreaded to my back, stomach and chest. It also appears on my face right below both my eyes. I was jus now lying here itching and something said google systemmic lupus and pools and i found your feed. I thought at first maybe not b/c everyone has been so encouraging about swimming...until i got to you...i said omg im experiencing the same exact thing! I dont have an appt with my rheumatologist until the end of nxt month but im goin to call his ofc tomm. And i hava appt with my primary on monday i wasnt goin to go b/c i said hes not gona do anythg diff but now that ive read your feed, i will go and address this with him to see what he says and perhaps he can prescribe me sumthn more specific. I am a runner but since ive taken up swimming on a serious note its starting to become my 2nd passion for physical fitness as i am subject to blood clotting and arthritis. I hope your now fash free. If you or anyone else has found a solution to the rash and allergic reaction to the chlorine PLEASE tell me. I really dont wana give up swimming now im jus warming up to it😕

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