Symptoms of hot tub rash

Hot tub rash usually appears a few days after sitting in a poorly maintained hot tub.

Hot tub rash can affect people of all ages. It is often worse in areas where a swimsuit held contaminated water up against the skin. Symptoms include:

  • Itchy, red, and bumpy rash
  • Pus-filled blisters around hair follicles

Mild rashes usually clear up in a few days without medical treatment. Check with your healthcare provider if a rash gets worse or if you get it more than once.

Prevention steps and strategies

To reduce the risk of hot tub rash

  • Remove your swimsuit and shower with soap after getting out of the water, especially hot tubs.
  • Wash your swimsuit after using it.
  • Use test strips to check the water, especially in hot tubs, for adequate disinfectant level and pH. CDC recommends the following disinfectant and pH levels for hot tubs:
    • Chlorine: 3–10 parts per million (ppm or mg/L) or bromine 4–8 ppm
    • pH: 7.0–7.8

If chlorine level, bromine level, or pH is not within the correct range, tell the operator or owner immediately.