Can we swim while doing NMT?
First of all, let’s see what Dr Sato has to say on the topic:
Q. (A patient) As for chlorine in the swimming pool, do you think it is not good for the skin?
A. (Dr. Sato) For very sensitive people, a little aggravation would happen but I don’t see aggravated patients due to the water in the swimming pool very much.
Q. So as an exercise, swimming is good?
A. I think it is fine.
Q. How about heated pools?
A. The higher the water temperature, the more sebum is taken and itching easily occurs. From that perspective, it is bad. Nevertheless, since it is difficult to swim in the cold water in winter (or in a cold season/area) for example, if you try it and if it doesn’t get worse, you can try the exercise. However, on the other hand, we have to aware that bathing in the water can be moisturizers so you need to care about it too.
I find this interesting because if you’re familiar with Dr Sato’s NMT protocol, swimming would be the last thing you would be thinking of.
However, keep in mind in the exchange above, I don’t think he’s talking about swimming while going through TSW/NMT but more about whether it’s good/bad for the skin in general.
It’s more likely he’s saying once you have “healed” you can start to swim again.
I actually have a good amount of experience with this, as I started swimming again once I started training for Ironman, often spending over an hour in the pool at a time.
I didn’t notice any adverse effects to my skin, except for maybe a small amount of dryness afterwards.
In fact I would say I noticed a net positive for my skin after I started swimming.
I mentioned this to my GP, and he said quite emphatically he thinks swimming in a pool is fantastic for people with eczema, as it cleans out the skin and nukes a lot of the bacteria that causes flares and breakage.
During a flare some months later, my dermatologist also suggested I could try bleach baths as he noticed my skin was quite “buggy”, meaning there was a lot of bacteria on it causing redness and preventing the wounds from healing.
He said taking an antibiotic might clear it up temporarily but wasn’t helpful in the long run.
I started swimming again daily and the flare did indeed clear up quite quickly.
I went back to him two weeks later and even he was amazed at how well the skin had cleared.
Can we be certain it was due to the swimming?
No, but it makes sense.
Obviously I am not Dr Sato, but if you would like my opinion, I would say swimming in a pool might be helpful to clean up your skin, but only once you’re out of the redness/oozing stage.
If you’re deep in NMT, I would recommend keeping away from the pool along with showers/baths, just to follow the protocol as closely as possible.
Hope that helps!