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Nothing ruins a relaxing soak in the hot tub quite like skin irritation. Taking a dip should be enjoyable and relaxing, not causing redness and itchiness. If your hot tub is irritating your skin, you may be feeling frustrated and confused, but there are many easy steps you can take to help your skin feel better. Read on to find out what to do if your hot tub is causing skin irritation.

1. Check the Water Chemistry

Testing the Sanitizer Levels

The very first step in resolving hot tub irritation issues is to check the water chemistry of the tub. It’s important to make sure the sanitizer levels are properly balanced and remain the same over the course of several days. A sanitizer including chlorine or bromine should be added to the water at regular intervals and tested regularly to make sure the levels are maintained. The pH level of the water should also be tested regularly, to make sure it stays between 7.2 and 7.6. If the levels of these chemicals are too low (or too high), they can cause skin irritation.

Come to an Agreement with Your Pool Expert

Additionally, you should consult with a pool expert for advice about any necessary additions or adjustments that may need to be made to the water chemistry. Pools typically have higher chlorine levels than hot tubs and it can be beneficial to adjust the chlorine levels in your hot tub to match those of a pool. It’s important to work with a professional to ensure that the correct levels are achieved, as too much chlorine can be just as bothersome as not enough.

Conduct Regular Maintenance

It’s also important to conduct regular maintenance on the hot tub. Clean the filter cartridges, vacuum the water and test the bromine and pH levels at regular intervals. This will help to ensure the water remains clear, clean and safe.

2. Change the Water

Monthly Water Replacements

If the water chemistry is balanced and maintained, but you are still experiencing skin irritation then it may be time to start thinking about replacing the water entirely. Hot tubs should have the water changed out once a month to get rid of skin irritants and bacteria. If your tub has not had a water change in a while, it is likely the primary cause of your skin irritation.

Change the Filters

When replacing the water, it is also important to change out the filter cartridges. As water goes through the filter, it eventually starts to accumulate with bacteria, dust and other contaminants. These can be a source of skin irritation and can really cause problems if not taken care of. Regularly changing the filter cartridges will help keep the water clean and healthy.

Take Short Breaks

Finally, if changing the water and filters doesn’t help, try to take a break from using the hot tub. Taking a break can help provide relief to your skin and give it time to recover. This will allow your skin to heal, getting you back in the hot tub in no time.

3. Take Precautions When Entering the Hot Tub

Shower Before Entering

The next step is to start taking precautions when entering the hot tub. It’s a good habit to shower before entering the hot tub, as this will help to keep the water clean and free of contaminants. This can help to reduce your risk of skin irritation from irritants and bacteria in the water.

Avoid Lotions and Oils

You should also avoid using any lotions or oils before entering the hot tub, as this can contribute to skin irritation. Oils can create a film on the surface of the water which can make it difficult for the sanitizer to work effectively. It’s best to apply your lotions and oils after exiting the hot tub, rather than before entering.

Test the Water Temperature

Finally, it’s important to test the water temperature before entering the hot tub. Hot tubs should be heated to 102-104°F. If the temperature is too hot, it can cause skin irritation. Always test the water first to make sure it is within a comfortable and safe range.

People Also Ask

What are the most common causes of skin irritation in hot tubs?

The most common causes of skin irritation in hot tubs are bacteria, chemicals, and water temperature that is too hot.

Can hot tubs cause allergic reactions?

Yes, hot tubs can cause allergic reactions. Common allergens found in hot tubs include chemicals, bacteria, and dust.

How can I prevent skin irritation in a hot tub?

To prevent skin irritation in a hot tub, have your water tested regularly to ensure the proper levels of sanitizer, pH and alkalinity. Shower before getting in the tub and avoid using lotions and oils. Also, be sure to check the water temperature before entering to make sure it isn’t too hot.

Can a hot tub cause a rash?

Yes, a hot tub can cause a rash. Improperly balanced water chemistry, bacteria in the water, and chemicals and allergens can all cause rashes.

What is the safe temperature for a hot tub?

The safe temperature for a hot tub is between 102-104°F. Anything above this may be too hot and can cause skin irritation.


Taking a soak in a hot tub should be enjoyable and relaxing, but if you are experiencing skin irritation, it can quickly turn into a frustrating experience. The good news is, there are many easy fixes that can help you to prevent skin irritation and get back to enjoying your hot tub. By checking the water chemistry and replacing the water and filters regularly, you will be on your way to having a clean, enjoyable hot tub experience.