Consider this: Most people don't rinse off before they go swimming. "Chemicals in personal-care products, sweat, and makeup can interfere with chlorine, making it much less effective," says Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., of the CDC's Healthy Swimming Program. The result? Public pools in particular are often swimming with nasties such as cryptosporidium, which can bring on diarrhea, ear infections, and skin rashes. Showering after a dip can wash bacteria off your skin and cut your risk of getting sick. Use soap -- a quick hose-off may not be enough.
More from Women's Health:
Best Things to Do for Your Body NOW