Can A Hot Tub Cause An Allergic Reaction?


Yes, allergic reactions from hot tubs can occur. Typically, most allergic reactions from hot tubs manifest themselves as rashes, which is why hot tub rash is common for some and is caused by contaminated water or the use of cleaning solutions. 

An allergic reaction to hot tub water in the form of a rash can look like acne and is red or sometimes purple in color. Generally, the rash can occur on any part of the body and takes a few days to go away. 

In some cases, you can also have an allergic reaction, in the form of a rash, from chlorine levels in your hot tub. Additionally, chlorine can also cause redness of the skin and dry skin in conjunction with rashes. These are all signs of an allergic reaction. 

Image Credits
BroBible / Google Stock Images

Key Takeaways:

  • Allergic reactions from hot tubs can occur and typically manifest as rashes caused by contaminated water or cleaning solutions.
  • Chlorine levels in hot tubs can also cause rashes, redness, and dry skin, which are signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Itching after hot tub use can be caused by chlorine levels or weakened immune systems, history of sensitive skin, and use of topical products.
  • To stop itching after hot tub use, taking a shower and applying lotion or topical creams can help.
  • The main chemicals found in hot tubs are chlorine and bromine, which can cause rashes when reacting with skin and high temperatures.
  • Hot tub rashes can look like hives, with raised red bumps or larger bumps filled with pus, and can last from a few days to a few weeks.
  • Strong topical treatments, anti-itch cream, white vinegar, or medical assistance may be needed to get rid of hot tub rashes.

Why am I so itchy after a hot tub?

Following hot tub use, there are some reasons why you are itchy. The first reason, which we have touched on above, is higher chlorine levels. If you are itchy because of chlorine, you will also see skin redness and dryness following an initial rash. 

Those with weakened immune systems can also be more sensitive to hot tubs. This is because infections or complications from exposure to chemicals such as chlorine and bromine can occur. And, those with acne or a history of sensitive skin can also experience itchy skin. 

If you have a history of dry skin or skin irritation, then these chemicals found in a hot tub can penetrate your skin and cause itchiness. Additionally, your skin could be itchy because of other topical products used. For instance, if you have put scented lotion on or perfume, chlorine or bromine could cause itchiness. 

How do I stop itching after a hot tub?

If you have experienced itchy skin or the need to itch intensely, then there are a few things you can do to mitigate this in the future. First, after getting out of your hot tub, it’s recommended to take a shower as soon as possible. 

If you have done this, applying lotion to your skin will allow natural absorption and heal your skin after coming into contact with intense chemicals. Additionally, topical creams can be used to alleviate itching, which will be of assistance. 

Image Credits
Swim N Pool Spa / Google Stock Images

Can chemicals in a hot tub give you a rash?

The two main chemicals found in a hot tub are chlorine and bromine. Bromine is a naturally occurring element that is used for sanitation in hot tubs. Chlorine, while similar to bromine, is stronger and acts in a similar way to bleach. 

With these two chemicals found in hot tubs reacting together with your skin, rashes can be caused. Chlorine and Bromine don’t cause reactions directly, but when used for pool and hot tub sanitation, in conjunction with high temperatures, they will cause light rashes on your skin. 

What does a hot tub rash look like?

A hot tub rash from cleaning chemicals can look almost normal in some cases. This type of rash will sometimes present itself similar to that of hives, with raised red bumps. On the other hand, sometimes hot tub rashes can cause larger red bumps filled with pus, ultimately scabbing over. 

However, your reaction and hot tub rash will solely depend on your skin type and tolerance. If you react badly to chemicals or solutions and have a history of skin irritation, then odds are your hot tub rash will look more serious. 

Image Credits
Waters Edge Dermatology / Google Stock Images

How do you get rid of a hot tub rash fast?

Although hot tub rashes can last for a few days to a few weeks and clear up on their own, there are ways you can get rid of these rashes. Sometimes, using a strong topical treatment will help. If you choose to use a special anti-itch cream or white vinegar, this can be applied two to four times daily. 

Sometimes, hot tub rashes can be more serious and don’t clear up on their own. If this is the case, then seeking medical assistance and being prescribed special ointments or antibiotics could help. However, you can usually get rid of a hot tub rash quickly by showering after leaving your hot tub, applying lotion to dry skin, or using creams and topical gels. 


  • Jason

    Jason is an experienced writer, having contributed to many popular websites over the years. He currently writes for Big Hot Tub, a blog about everything hot tubs. When he's not writing or working on his blog, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.