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What is a Hot Tub Rash or Hot Tub Folliculitis?

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Do you or someone you know have red hives or bumps on your skin after using a public or poorly maintained hot tub? Don’t fret; this skin condition is called hot tub rash or hot tub folliculitis.


You can identify it by red, itchy bumps that are sometimes filled with pus and may resemble an acne breakout, but maybe on a larger scale than usual. These bumps are sometimes (but not always) located on or near hair follicles, especially if you have recently shaved or removed hair using other methods.


This rash can show up anytime from a few hours to a few days after exposure. Hot tub folliculitis can affect any area of the body exposed to the water, especially any place where water was trapped for long periods, such as inside swimwear. Other symptoms include low-grade fever and patches of skin that are swollen, red, or particularly itchy.


Treatment Options


A few treatment options are warm compresses, applying creams or lotions like Benadryl for itching, or antibacterial like Neosporin to avoid secondary infections.


Alternatively, you can try applying apple cider vinegar directly to the affected area or soak in a bath with it.


The good news is that generally, except in rare cases, hot tub folliculitis clears up on its own, without medical intervention. If your skin is healthy, the bacteria that cause the condition can’t survive for long and will die without any assistance at all. If it doesn’t go away on its own, we recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor to rule out anything more serious.


How to Prevent Hot Tub Folliculitis


Once it’s gone, you’re going to want to prevent a reoccurrence of the experience, so here are a few ways you can avoid hot tub folliculitis in the future:


  • Immediately remove swimwear after sitting in your spa
  • Shower and wash with soap after using the hot tub
  • Wash swimwear after every use
  • Avoid shaving or hair removal immediately before hot tub use
  • Use test strips to ensure your spa water is properly balanced before entry
  • Follow best water maintenance practices to keep your water sparkling clean
  • Maintain proper pH and disinfectant levels


Proper Water Care



checking hot tub chemicals


If you own a hot tub, keeping control of your water maintenance schedule is vital to your safety and the safety of your guests. By properly maintaining your water chemical levels, you will ensure that everyone who enjoys your hot tub can do so without needing to be concerned about rashes or infections of any type.



If you own a Bullfrog Spa and you’re struggling with water maintenance issues, please see your local Bullfrog Spas dealer with questions. Our website also has lots of information about water care for our specific systems that you might find helpful.


If you need spa chemicals to keep your hot tub water crystal clear and avoid hot tub rash, you can order anything you need from our online store!


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AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.

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