Jen Schumacher of Irvine, California swam a 9 hour 2 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel this month. She was kind enough to take before-and-after photos of herself before spending 9 hours in the Pacific Ocean.
Before plunging in the night seas off of California, Schumacher radiated a positive glow of health, albeit, it appears, with slight apprehension.
After the swim, her joy was evident as her radiance continued to shine, but her skin tone obviously changed as can be seen in the photos above.
The body naturally swells from prolonged exposure to salt water. As a result, many marathon swimmers' bodies appear bloated when they exit the water. There is a physiological phenomenon called third spacing that causes the body to appear waterlogged or swollen.
This third spacing can be caused by a loss of electrolytes. In turn, this results in extracellular fluids going out of the blood vessels and into the skin tissue that normally is not perfused with fluids.
Third spacing occurs in the brain, lungs, abdomen and extremities when fluid is trapped in the interstitial spaces - and its effect becomes more noticeable with an increase in water salinity and the duration of exposure.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association