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Hot Tub Rash Treatment And Causes: Also How To Prevent

A hot tub is all about unwinding and letting the stress of modern-day living drift away. A sore and itchy rash is something you don’t need.

Folliculitis or hot tub rash as it’s also known as a common problem. Read on to find out what it is, hot tub rash treatment and its causes.

Pseudomonas Dermatitis is a bacterial or fungal rash caused by soaking in contaminated water. It’s one of the common hot tub diseases you can catch. As the name hot tub folliculitis suggests, it occurs when the hair follicles become inflamed.

You can get it from swimming in a lake or pool, however, the warm water of a hot tub is the perfect environment for the bacteria which causes the rash to multiply. So, it is easy to get this if the water in your portable spa is not kept clean.

Young children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system are most at risk.

Hot Tub Rash Symptoms 

skin with hair and folliculitis

Whilst not a life-threatening or contagious condition, Folliculitis is unsightly, embarrassing and in severe cases can cause scarring or a more severe infection if it enters an open wound. Diagnosis and signs are quite easy to spot after being in spas, but it’s important that the person removes themselves from the hot tub immediately and allows their body to recover.

  • Red bumps or pimples around the hair follicles
  • Itchy, prickly or burning skin
  • Pus-filled blisters
  • Tenderness

More severe symptoms are rare but can include;

  • Sore breasts
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fever

Hot Tub Folliculitis Treatment in the UK

a woman scratching her injured forearm

The good news is; that Folliculitis doesn’t usually require any treatment. The itching is a problem but luckily there are several ways to soothe this;

  • Try an oatmeal bath – Oatmeal has been used for centuries to soothe itchy and inflamed skin. You can buy oatmeal bath treatments over the counter, but you can also make your own by grinding a cup of oatmeal until it resembles a fine powder and then adding it to your bathwater.
  • Avoid scratching – Although this may be difficult, especially for children, the instant relief is not worth the chance of more serious infection and scarring.
  • Use a hydrocortisone cream – These are available over the counter at your local pharmacy and should contain 1% hydrocortisone This inhibits inflammation and soothes itchy skin.
  • Avoid shaving the area – You may think getting rid of the hair in an infected follicle will help but unfortunately, it will just make it worse.
  • Use a compress – soak a clean flannel in warm water with some white vinegar. Press and hold against the rash for around 10 minutes a few times a day. Vinegar is a natural antifungal and antiseptic, making it ideal for skin conditions. Just make sure to change the washcloth after each use.

The pseudomonas folliculitis normally goes away after a few days. If it remains for longer than a week, make an appointment with the doctor, who may prescribe an ointment or in rare cases antibiotics.

How To Get Rid Of Hot Tub Bacteria

If anyone using your Jacuzzi contracts folliculitis, stop using hot tubs immediately.

a man holding out a test strip over a hot tub

The bacteria exposure that causes a rash can survive in the pipes and filters, so it is time to drain and clean your hot tub thoroughly if you want to find a hot tub rash cure. It’s vitally important that you use proper chemicals and products to flush the bacteria out of the tub, this will prevent any infection or other health problems such as skin irritation, acne or fatigue.

Keeping everything right is vitally important because it will allow you to maintain a clean hot tub without the risk of harmful infections,

To do this;

  1. Add a specialist line-flush product and let this circulate for the recommended time; usually, this is between 20 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. Disconnect the power to your hot tub
  3. Remove the filters and throw them away. Cleaning them, even with chemicals, won’t be enough, so you will need to order new ones.
  4. Drain your hot tub.
  5. Once emptied, wipe down the interior surfaces thoroughly with a diluted bleach solution (1/2 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water). If you use a hot tub cleaner make sure it is an anti-bacterial one as a normal one will not be enough to kill off the bacteria.
  6. Rinse to ensure no bleach remains, as it can affect the chemicals
  7. Install the new filters as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Refill the hot tub with fresh water.
  9. Turn the power back on and re-start your hot tub.
  10. Test the water and adjust the PH level if required.
  11. Add the correct amount of sanitiser.
  12. Use a shock treatment and allow it to circulate.
  13. Set the temperature to 36-38 degrees.
  14. Let the unit run for at least 24 hours.
  15. Re-test the water
  16.  Enjoy your hot tub, rash and worry-free!

More on how to clean up a portable jacuzzi on this page.

The chemistry of your hot tub is what keeps jacuzzi folliculitis away and the effects of hot tubs on the body can be great when properly maintained. As long as the PH level is correct, and you have the right amount of sanitiser in the water you won’t have to worry about hot tub infection. This is one of the main reasons that cause hot tub rashes on people.

We recommend that you test your water once or twice a week at home, more if you have people over or are using it more often.

The wrong amount of chemicals or an unstable pH imbalance, which can prevent them from working correctly will allow P. aeruginosa; the bacteria which causes folliculitis to flourish. So, it is essential you get it right.

Along with maintaining clean, hygienic water through screw-on spa filters, you should also shower before and after using the hot tub. Pay particular attention to the areas where you were covered by a swimsuit to stop skin infections and bacterial infections. Also, wash your bathing costume or shorts thoroughly rather than just letting them air dry.

Last Word

The process above may seem like hard work, but it’ll be worth it to know that the germs are gone and that your hot tub is once again safe to enjoy.

Be sure to maintain your water and test on a regular basis to prevent another unwanted contamination. See all of our latest spa tutorials for more advice and help.

John Devlin

Hello, Welcome to my website. I’m John, and I created the InflatableHotTubGuide while researching these spas nearly a decade ago. Since its creation, the site has become the leading UK resource for many models. As a passionate hot tub user, I love to test and explore all the latest machines this industry keeps creating. I hope you find our content helpful.