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Causes of Hot Tub Rash – Chlorine and Bromine

Hot tub Folliculitis

Hot Tub Folliculitis Could Likely Be Caused
by the Chlorine or Bromine in Your Hot Tub

Many people enjoy the opportunity to experience the warm and soothing water provided by a hot tub. There is a common health issue associated with using one. It is known as hot tub folliculitis or hot tub rash. This is the development of small bumps on the skin that are red, itchy and tender. The rash can also result in pus-filled blisters around a person's hair follicles. They are often found in areas of a person's body that were covered with swimming attire.

Bacteria Caused  Folliculitis (Hot Tub Rash) 

The commonly blamed cause of hot tub rash is a bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is a very common organism. It can be found in soil on plants and in almost all sources of water. It is especially common in man made environments. This bacteria is considered opportunistic and will attach itself to humans or any other type of creature when possible. It is very versatile and can infect any type of damaged human tissue as well as individuals with decreased immunity. Though not typically the case it is possible for an entire family to use a hot tub and only one member develop hot tub rash. However, in most cases of bacteria caused hot tub rash more than one person will be infected.

Click photos to enlarge.

Chemical Caused Folliculitis 
Funny thing is, the very same chemicals, chlorine and bromine, that are used to kill bacteria in hot tubs are often the most common cause of  folliculitis or "hot tub rash." These chemicals are able to eat away at the enzymes that are designed to prevent hair follicle irritation. Many people have had success preventing instances of hot tub rash by not using caustic sanitizers such as Bromine and Chlorine. Water treatment systems that are free from chemicals have been shown to help hot tub users avoid getting hot tub rash.

Chemical caused hot tub rash often only affects specific people in family and rarely causes a family wide breakout. It is usually one person in the family or family members that have similar skin characteristics that are highly sensitive to chlorine and bromine. Doctors commonly prescribe antibiotics and steroids that have no affect on chemical caused hot tub rash since there is not bacteria present.

Avoiding Hot Tub Folliculitis
The water in hot tubs is warmer than what is found in pools. This causes the traditional sanitizers utilized to kill germs, such as chlorine, to break down faster. When this happens, it creates a situation where the risk of bacteria caused hot tub rash infections can occur. There are things people can do to decrease their chances of developing the rash. When getting out of the water, it's important people take off their swimsuits. They should immediately shower with soap. The swimsuits used while in the hot tub should be thoroughly cleaned.

It is important that the hot tubs water be well maintained. If using chlorine or bromine it is very important that the water chemistry is well balanced. In the case of chlorine and bromine use, more is not better, since too much chemicals can cause skin rashes in even those people not typically sensitive. In fact, chlorine is toxic. "When chlorine enters the body as a result of breathing, swallowing, or skin contact, it reacts with water to produce acids. The acids are corrosive and damage cells in the body on contact." New York Department of Health. When using an alternative water treatment product such as Natural Spa or Mineral Spa is important to follow the instructions carefully. Though neither Natural Spa nor Mineral Spa will directly cause skin irritation not maintaining the product in your hot tub can allow bacteria to grow.

STOP CHEMICAL
HOT TUB FOLLICULITIS

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Treatment of Hot Tub Folliculitis
Often when someone has hot tub rash, it's possible for the rash to go away within a few days. In most cases, medical treatment will not be required. It's possible to put warm compresses of Burow's solution or salt water to ease the itching. Health complications associated with hot tub rash are rare. It is often caused by an abscess formation resulting in an infection. When the rash becomes severe, a physician may prescribe a treatment of antibiotics. Of course this antibiotic treatment will have no effect on a chemically caused rash.

Increased Risk of Hot Tub Rash
It is easier for a person to get hot tub rash if they have damaged hair follicles. When people closely shave or wear clothes that rub their skin, it can irritate the hair follicles. This will create a situation where the follicles will become irritated or become blocked by makeup, irritated by sweat, machine oil and more. Hair follicles that have been damaged are more likely to be susceptible to folliculitis. Individuals who have a surgical wound, scrape or cut can easily be infected with the bacteria. Additionally, chlorine and bromine will also cause irritation to these areas of damaged skin.

Affected Areas
There are certain locations on a person’s body that are more likely to develop hot tub rash. The upper arms and legs, as well as chest or upper back, are prone to hot tub rash. A person's armpits, abdomen or lower back, as well as groin and buttocks, are also common areas that can develop hot tub rash.

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Hot baths can relieve pain, may help heart (CNN)

Story highlights

  • Studies have found that hot water immersion, sauna use may reduce blood pressure
  • Doctor believes that in sauna, small blood vessels in the brain open, possibly stopping micro deterioration
By Amy Chillag, CNN

(CNN)Don Benedict played handball competitively for 30 years in the Pacific Northwest. To stay in shape, he ran 5 miles every other day.

But decades of pounding the pavement took its toll. When Benedict was 57 years old, he ruptured a disc in his back. And then it happened again.

He had three back surgeries, and the last one, he says, made things worse. 

Read the Entire Article Here....

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Preparing Your Hot Tub for Winter Use

Winter Hot Tub

Relaxing in a luxurious hot tub is a great way to combat the frigid temperatures of winter. We all prepare for winter in various ways, but if you want to enjoy your hot tub during the upcoming cold winter months here’s how to make sure it’s ready for the winter.

Clean Your Hot Tub
If it’s been between 6 to 8 months since you’ve last drained tub, fall is a good time to take care of that before the freezing temperatures set it.

To clean your hot tub there are two courses of action.

Course 1 – Currently Using Natural Spa or Mineral Spa
Since you are already a user of our product you will not need to use Crystal Clean again. To clean your hot tub, we recommend adding approximately 2oz of Cascade Dishwasher detergent for every 100 gallons of water in your hot tub. Run the jets on high several times during the next 4 hours. Then drain your hot tub. This will get the hot tub sparkling clean inside and out.

Course 2 –Converting to Our Natural Hot Tub Treatment from Chlorine or Bromine
So you’re ready to get your hot tub converted over from a total chlorine or bromine treatment to our products. You will need to purchase one of our Non-Chlorine Hot Tub Start Up Kits. The kit will include our citric acid cleaner, Crystal Clean. Add the bottle of crystal clean to the existing water in your hot tub and let it circulate for about 3 days. This will clean your hot tub and remove any chlorine or bromine build up from your hot tubs plumbing and heating system. After the 3 days and no more than 6 days drain your hot tub and rinse off your filter with a high pressure hose.

Wash Every Accessible Part
Scrub as many parts of the hot tub as possible, both inside the tub and out. It’s especially vital to ensure that the vents and drains are thoroughly washed since these will be very difficult to clean in winter. It’s also a good time to get the underside of your hot tub cover clean of algae and mold growth. You can use a spray bottle with a water bleach mixture to spray on the underside of the cover.

Refill the Hot Tub
Now that everything has been washed refill the tub with fresh water. Take the time out to check for leaks while the tub is filling. Repairing leaks and other issues in the tub is much easier in fall weather.

Once you have the hot tub full set the heater for the appropriate temperature, typically, 102°F to 104°F. Next you’ll need to shock the new water in your hot tub. Do this by adding 3 ounces of plain Clorox bleach (not the splashless or perfumed versions) for every 100 gallons of water in your hot tub to get the water as clean as possible. This will remove any algae or mold spores from your water as well as remove the chloramines present in municipal water.

During this time, you can clean your filter as well. Place your filter in a 5-gallon bucket of water and add one cup Clorox bleach allow it to soak for a day and then install the filter back into your hot tub.

After 48 hours you should not be able to smell the bleach anymore in your hot tub. If that is not the case, simply wait another 24 hours until you can no longer smell the bleach.

Add Natural Spa or Mineral Spa to Your Hot Tub
Once you can no longer smell the bleach you can add either natural spa or mineral spa in the amounts appropriate to your hot tub size (see the instructions included with your product). At this point you can use your hot tub, but you still have a few steps that you should complete before the winter.

Set the Temperature

In order to ensure that the hot tub doesn’t freeze, you’ll need to set the temperature fairly high. We recommend between 100°F and 10 4°F. Any lower than this and it will be difficult to get your hot tub up to temperature before you use it in a reasonable time.

Turn on Freeze Protection
Most hot tub controllers have a freeze level protection setting. This setting is typically turned on by default. However, I recommend that you check to make sure that it is turned on. Here’s how freeze protection works. If for any reason your hot tub loses power and the thermostat resets to a lower temperature, freeze protection will kick in when power is restored to keep the water circulated as well as keep the temperature above freezing. Of course you should probably check on your hot tub on a regular basis especially during freezing weather so as not to count on this freeze protection system. Also, keeping in mind that freeze protection will not work if the hot tub remains without power for an extended period of time.

Lastly, Check the Insulating Cover
A good insulating cover can save you a lot of money on heating costs, but they don’t last forever. Check the cover each time that you’re about to place it over the tub. If the insulating cover has any cracks or tears, cold air can easily come through the cover and freeze the water. Some minor damages can be patched, but if the cover has any major problems you should replace it. An extremely heavy cover is an indication that the cover is waterlogged. Waterlogged covers provide minimal insulation value not to mention a sore back and should be replaced.

Conclusion
Personally, winter is the most enjoyable time to use my hot tub. There’s nothing that feels better than sitting in 104°F while the snow is falling.

 

Products Mentioned in Article

Natural Spa – No Chlorine Complete Start-Up Kit

Mineral Spa – No Chlorine Complete Start-Up Kit

Crystal Clean

Quick Drain