What is “Hot Tub Rash”?
Hot tub rash is a red, itchy and bumpy rash that can occur after sitting for a while in a hot tub that contains the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Water contaminated with Pseudomonas can cause “hot tub rash” on exposed skin, or “swimmers’ ear” in the external ear canal. It is often worse in areas where a swimsuit held water against the skin.
Hot tub rash usually appears a few days after you sat in a hot tub/spa that was not properly disinfected, but it can also appear a few days after you swam in a lake, or a pool that was not properly disinfected. Often mild rashes clear up after a few days, but you should consult your doctor if the rash gets worse.
What is Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria commonly found in the environment, such as in water or soil. While it often causes skin irritation from sitting in a hot tub, in hospital settings Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause more serious infections.
How to prevent Hot Tub Rash:
- Shower BEFORE and AFTER hot tub use.
- Remove your swimsuit and shower after hot tub use with soap and water.
- Wash your swimsuit after using it.
- Check the water pH and chlorine, or check with the hot tub operator.
What else do I need to know about Hot Tub Rash or Hot Tubs?
- Take CDCs extra HOT steps (Heed, Observe, and Talk)
- Heed hot tub rules
- Observe the hot tub and surroundings
- Talk to hot tub staff or operators
- Review CDCs Hot Tub/Spa User Information webpage
- Learn more at CDCs Hot Tub Rash webpage