Why did I get a Rash from my Hot Tub?

Your hot tub is supposed to be your relaxing oasis, the last thing you want is for it to leave you with red irritating bumps all over your skin. Unfortunately, this can be a common problem if your hot tub sanitizer is too low and not being maintained properly.

Warm water can be an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa's, and viruses. Sanitizers in spas such as bromine or chlorine are used to kill these microorganisms, and maintain safe, clean water for bathers. People often think they are allergic to spa sanitizers after developing a rash from bathing, but usually the culprit is actually inadequate sanitizer which leads to the buildup of microorganisms that can cause skin irritation and rash.

Hot Tub Folliculitis is a common condition caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, and can often be found where there is a spa sanitation issue. The symptom most often associated with hot tub folliculitis is small reddish bumps or an itchy rash; it can commonly be confused as a bug bite. With Hot Tub Folliculitis bumps can cover the entire body but tend to be more prominent in areas where the bathing suit covers. If you develop symptoms it is best to contact your health care provider, although the symptoms typically clear on their own after a few days. Also keep in mind that while your doctor is an expert in human conditions, they may not be an expert in proper spa care so please follow the tips below to keep your spa safe and microorganism-free!

Proper Care Tips to Avoid Contamination:

  1. Refill your spa with fresh clean water at least every 4 months. The use of a Spa Pure Pre-Filter may help in getting you water balanced properly from the get go.

  2. Maintain proper sanitizer levels, whether you are on a bromine, chlorine, or biguanide system.

  3. Shock treat regularly, especially after heavy usage.

  4. Test your water often using proper test strips or test kit!

  5. Maintain proper pH and alkalinity levels.

  6. If your spa cover is in poor condition, smells, or is water logged---replace it. It will not only help fight microorganisms but also help with energy savings.

  7. Before each drain and refill purge your spa of any build up using Spa Purge!

  8. Give your filters a deep clean at each drain and refill, and replace them when needed.

By properly caring for your hot tub you can ensure that it is a healthy and safe environment for all those who enjoy it.
Spazazz RX Spa Aromotherapy


Kasey LaRose
June 21, 2016

This can be a process of trying different things and then crossing them off the list. If you’re confident in your readings of ph, alkalinity, etc. I would have to ask a few questions:

1. How long have you had your spa and is this the first time you’ve gotten a rash?
2. What sanitizer are you using? Maybe you should consider an alternative sanitizer?
3. Is it possible your sanitizer level is too high and giving inaccurate readings for pH and Alkalinity?

These are a few things to consider as you try to pinpoint the cause of the rash.

June 21, 2016

ph good alk. good sanitizer showing a little high and still developed hot tub rash.WHAT NEXT? ALSO ROTATE FILTERS ON A REG.BASES

larry carollo
June 4, 2016

100% all natural enzyme-based system that replaces the need for using any chemicals in your hot tub or swim spa is what I was told by the manufacturer of my swim spa that all we need to add to the water. Lately ive been getting red ichy bumps on my ankles and elbows. What do you know about this product?

Kasey LaRose
June 15, 2016

Unfortunately, that system sounds like one of the “too good to be true” chemical packages people are sold when they are being sold a spa. Many dealers try a little too hard to make a spa sound like it is completely maintenance free. In every spa, you need to make sure that the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness are balanced and that the spa is sanitized. My guess would be that your spa is very out of balance and resulted in hot tub folliculitis on your skin. If you haven’t been adjusting pH, etc. during the course of using the spa, then I would recommend draining the spa and filling with new water. Then use test strips or a test kit to test the water and make the necessary adjustments to properly balance your spa.

Please let us know if you have any more questions and good luck.

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