Swimming in the lake is an extremely liberating yet soothing experience that I believe everyone should experience. But we cannot ignore the risk of illnesses that come with it.
I am not saying let’s avoid swimming altogether. Rather, let’s see how we can be careful while enjoying the overall experience.
Should You Shower After Swimming in a Lake?
The lake is home to various algae and microorganisms. If they are not rinsed away from our bodies, it may be dangerous for us. Although it also depends on how clean the lake is, the wise thing to do is take a shower after swimming in the lake to prevent any rashes or illness.
Do you think it is necessary to shower after swimming in a lake? Continue reading to find out more!
Swimming in the Lake
Let me paint a picture for you.
If the lake is popular for swimming and you are not the only one who is there, who knows what other people are doing in the lake?
I apologize for telling you this not-so-fun fact, but it is not uncommon for people to pee where they are swimming.
On top of that, there are already algae and bacteria in the lake. Although some bacteria are good, we cannot overlook the bad ones.
Swimming in the lake with these things has the potential of causing water recreation illnesses.
These are illnesses caused by germs present in the water and can affect the skin, intestines, or respiratory systems.
What Happens If You Don’t Shower After Swimming in the Lake
Not showering after swimming in the lake can prove to be harmful.
Dr. Erum N. Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist and founder and owner of AmberNoon, explained that the bacteria that comes on the skin after swimming in the ocean is more resistant to medications.
If we do not shower and wash them away, they will become more difficult to cure.
The contaminants present in the water will stay on the body and accompany us wherever we go unless we wash them off.
This can lead to the following illnesses, not only for us but for those surrounding us as well.
The most common types of skin irritations as a result of being in contact with water are Cercarial dermatitis (Swimmer’s Itch), Otitis externa (Swimmer’s Ear), and Cyanobacteria (Blue-green Algae).
Stomach and Intestine Diseases
Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are all the symptoms that can occur from these stomach and intestine diseases.
The most common types that occur as a result of swimming are Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, and Norovirus.
Respiratory diseases affect the lungs and result in coughing and breathing.
They include Mycobacterium avium and Legionellosis.
Take A Shower Before & After Swimming
Finding out the possible consequences of not showering after swimming, I am sure you do not want to put yourself at risk.
It is indeed a good idea to shower after taking a swim to protect yourself from any illnesses.
But it is also a good idea to take a shower before to keep the lake and other people swimming in the lake safe.
Get rid of the sweat and germs that are present on you, and reduce the risk of exposing someone else to it.
I definitely wouldn’t want to be in someone else’s germ. And I’m definite you wouldn’t either.
So why not try to protect others as well?
Before going for a swim, take a thorough shower with soap and shampoo to get rid of all the germs, oils, and possible remains of fecal or urine from your skin and hair.
Do the same after you are done with swimming to get all the bacteria and the possibility of sickness down the drain!
You do not have to worry about using special types of cleaning products to ensure proper cleanliness. Just a simple soap and shampoo will do the work.
In fact, I would suggest against the use of anything else, such as sponges, to assist you in shower. It will only do you more harm as it can further build the bacteria on your skin.
If you do not have soaps and shampoos until later that day, the least you should do is rinse your body with clean water. And do not forget to take a thorough shower as soon as you get the chance!
Suggestions for Swimming in the Lake
I have collected some tips for you to keep in mind before and during swimming in a lake.
Make Sure The Lake is Clean!
Before going swimming, you should observe the lake for certain things. If they are present, it means that the lake is not safe to swim in, and you should change your plans!
Firstly, you can see algae everywhere. This increases the chances of you getting sick tremendously.
Secondly, the current of the water is faster than you can swim. If you can’t keep up with the current of the water, you will greatly struggle to keep up with the water, and the experience will not be nice!
Thirdly, the lake is near a spot where two rivers merge. The current here is super strong as well, which can be dangerous.
Fourthly, if there are any signs suggesting you should not swim there, listen to them!
Lastly, the lake is near farmland. There is a chance that the animals come into the water and leave their feces there. Swimming here will increase the risk of falling ill.
Salt lakes are usually safer to swim in as there are no fish or plants, and the water is clear.
Tips for Swimming in the Lake
The job doesn’t end there! Once you have decided that the lake is safe to swim in, you also need to be careful of things while swimming.
Wear a nose clip while entering the lake. Naegleria fowleri – aka brain-eating amoeba – enters the body with the help of water from your nose.
If you don’t have a nose clip, just hold your nose with your fingers.
Swim parallel to the shore as opposed to the middle of the lake. This will keep you safe from any boats, as it is improbable that the users can see you.
And lastly, keep your mouth closed to avoid any water going in your mouth. Water entering the mouth can pose a higher risk of illness than simply swimming in the water.
Frequently Asked Questions about Showering After Swimming in a Lake
Can you get STDs from swimming in the lake?
No evidence suggests that you can get an STD from swimming in the lake.
Can lake-swimming make me contract UTI?
It is rare but not completely impossible. This is one of the reasons why you should avoid peeing in the lake, especially if the water is still.
How long can I go before showering after swimming in the lake?
If you have the chance to shower right after exiting the lake, then that is the ideal time. It’s best you shower the soonest you get the chance without any delay.