Are Hot Tubs Really Good For You?

Relax in a Hot Tub
Photocredit: Kinga/Shutterstock

Hot tubs and Jacuzzis are a great way to soak and relax, especially when it is winter time. However hot tubs are known to carry a substantial number of germs and can transmit water-borne diseases. If you fail to keep the water in your hot tub sanitised, harmful bacteria can fester and cause skin problems and other infections. High levels of chlorine or bromine used in hot tubs can irritate the skin, nose and respiratory system, so it is it vital to ensure you have the appropriate hot tub chemicals and tools.

Why are hot tubs so detrimental to our health?

Whilst we all take pleasure in soaking in a warm, bubbling hot tub, it is important to remember that everything on our bodies ends up in the hot tub too. A lot of these germs are harmless, however, when coupled with water set at around 37 to 38 degrees Celsius, it is the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow. Despite the fact this temperature is scalding hot for the average person, it is not high enough to kill any surviving bacteria and germs. Therefore, it is crucial that you spend time cleaning your hot tub thoroughly, and regularly; however, it isn’t easy and the process can be highly time-consuming. Hot tubs are high maintenance, and require an awful lot of knowledge and care to ensure they are kept clean and safe for use.

Friends Relaxing in a Hot Tub
Photo credit: bbernard/Shutterstock

It is recommended that you check and adjust your hot tub chemicals every hour when it is in frequent use, to ensure the chlorine, bromine and pH levels are accurate. Ideally, the filter should be replaced (or cleaned) after every use, and the chlorine should be adjusted. One of the most important practises is adding enough chlorine after use, otherwise the grimy hot tub water will continue to break down the chlorine and bromine and cause more bacteria to grow. Unfortunately, many hot tub users are not strict about cleaning, which can have a detrimental effect on your health.

What can cause the chemicals to change?

Unless you remember to rinse off before you step foot into a hot tub, just like in a swimming pool, you will bring anything that is on your body into the water, including sweat, sun cream, shampoo and conditioner. This can create a reaction between the chemicals to produce a lower concentration than needed, which can fail to kill all the bad bacteria – and the longer you sit in the tub, and the more people, the quicker the levels decline.

Hot Tub in the sunshine
Photo credit: kurhan/Shutterstock

It is therefore vital to follow manufacturer instructions for using and storing all spa maintenance products, chlorine-based or not, in order to avoid unnecessary risks to health and safety. Although, the best way to check for dirt-ridden water is to put together a ‘hot tub maintenance kit’, where you have the correct utensils to ensure the water is never short of the precise guidelines. Water testing strips are a great investment, allowing you to see when the water’s chlorine and pH levels are decreasing, to avoid severe contamination from occurring.

What is Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Hot tub folliculitis is a rash caused by a bacterial infection that is commonly experienced after soaking in a poorly sanitized hot tub – an all too common consequence of poorly cleaned water. Effectively, the rash appears suddenly, from head to toe, which infects the tiny hair follicles around your body, and looks very similar to Chicken Pox spots.

It is very difficult to treat, so it is vital to ensure that your hot tub is sparkling clean and each individual getting into your hot tub has a shower beforehand.

 

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