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Hot Tub Rash

Cases of hot tub rash, also known as dermatitis, are caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, which are common in the environment. Symptoms include itching; tender, red skin; and a bumpy rash. The majority of the time, this rash will clear up on its own without treatment. However, if the condition persists, medical treatment should be sought.

What Is Hot Tub Rash?

Hot tub rash, also known as dermatitis, is an infection of the skin. When a person has this rash, the skin may become:
 
  • Itchy
  • Tender
  • Bumpy
  • Red.
 
Pus-filled blisters may also be found surrounding hair follicles.
 

Causes of Hot Tub Rash

Infections are often caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium is common in the environment (it's often found in water and soil) and is microscopic, so it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
 

How Is It Transmitted?

Hot tub rash is spread by direct contact of the skin with contaminated water. It usually occurs within a few days of swimming in poorly maintained hot tubs or spas, but can also be spread by swimming in a contaminated pool or lake.
 

Treatment for Hot Tub Rash

Most cases will clear up in a few days without medical treatment. However, if your rash persists, you should consult your healthcare provider.
 

Can It Be Prevented?

Chlorine and other disinfectants break down faster in hot tubs and spas, which have warmer water than pools. Therefore, hot tubs and spas are more likely to spread the bacteria that cause hot tub rash. People should ask their pool manager about the disinfectant and pH-testing program of the hot tub or pool. Ensuring frequent testing, control of disinfectant levels (usually chlorine or bromine), and pH control are likely to prevent the condition.
 
 
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