How to Avoid Hot Tub Skin Irritation – 3 Health Tips


Worried about your hot tub water? You can bring in a water sample to our Seattle store, and we will test it for FREE! 

You got a hot tub to relax and enjoy a healthful soak, but if you end up with a skin irritation, it will put a damper on your leisure time.

Fortunately, there are typically just a few causes of skin rashes associated with hot tub usage, so it should be a relatively simple matter to narrow down what’s causing your skin problems and correct it so you can get back to your spa experience.

Black Pine Spas carries all the hot tub and spa chemicals you need to keep your hot tub safe and high-performing. Below are three common sources of hot tub skin irritations how to deal with them effectively.


#1 Hot tub rash caused by germs

If you have itchy spots that turn into a bumpy red rash and/or blisters around the hair follicles that are worse in your bathing suit area, you may have Pseudomonas Dermatitis or Folliculitis. This is commonly known as hot tub rash and is usually caused by the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This is a very common germ and the rash it causes is not very serious and will usually clear up on its own but if it persists, medical attention is wise.

Health tip: Always take a shower after you get out of the hot tub and wash with soap and water. Wash your swimsuit regularly. Check your hot tub chemicals to ensure your pH, chlorine and/or bromine levels are sufficient.

Hot tubs should have either a free chlorine level of two to four ppm or a bromine level of four to six ppm. pH levels should be 7.2-7.8. If these levels are off, you should avoid soaking until these are within the recommended range.

#2 Hot tub rash and itching caused by chemicals

The chemicals that your hot tub requires are a balancing act. Too little of the required chlorine or bromine and you risk bacteria in your water. Too much of these substances and you may cause yourself to have itchy or dry skin or a rash from the excessive chemicals.

One warning sign of too much chlorine and bromine in the water is that your skin smells of the chemicals. These can react with both your hair and skin and leave you itchy, dry or rashy.

Health tip: It’s best to have enough chemical levels to keep bacteria out of your hot tub. You don’t want germs accumulating. You should check your hot tub chemical levels frequently to ensure they stay within safe and comfortable levels. Levels should be chlorine at two to four ppm or bromine at four to six ppm. pH should be 7.2-7.8.

However, slightly higher levels of chlorine and bromine are better than slightly lower levels. A quick shower after your soak will wash the chemicals out of your skin and hair and washing your suit frequently helps protect the fabric from the required chemicals.

#3 Hot tub rash caused by unclean soakers

You’ve likely seen the signs at hot tubs at the gym that you should shower before entering the spa, but may not worry about it when you install a spa at your house. In fact, you should absolutely worry about it, particularly if you have guests over or several people that use the hot tub at once.


Here’s why. According to University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Garba, most people have about a “tenth of a gram of feces in the gluteal fold.” Multiply this by five people and you get the equivalent of a tablespoon of poo in your hot tub. That’s gross and can lead to rashes and infections.

Health tip: Showering thoroughly before you get into the hot tub keeps these back door germs out of your spa and showering after washes off chemicals and any other germs you pick up from others that can cause itch, rashes and infections.

Enforce the shower-first rule when you invite friends over and make it convenient for them to do so by having plenty of towels and anti-bacterial shower scrub on hand in your guest bath. Also, keep your spa chemicals within safe levels (see notes above) to eradicate those germs that do make it into the water.

Browse our online store to find test strips, and kits to self-monitor and maintain your spa chemicals yourself with great ease and accuracy. Come in to Black Pine to purchase from our wide selection of hot tub chemicals.

You can also call us for advice and order products on the phone! (425) 771-5774 We will help you choose the chemicals you need. Don’t forget, you can also get free water testing right in our store. And remember, Black Pine Spas offers a 10% price guarantee and free shipping across the US.


Related Articles