Dermatitis of jacuzzi or hottub rash can develop from the chronic use of hottubs. Some people use hottubs frequently. The hottub chemicals will lead to dry skin, which in turn causes skin irritation and skin itching.
Chronic scratching leads to the development of eczema, which aggravates the itch. Males are particularly prone to this as their skin has less moisture of the skin than the skin of females (possibly due to hormonal differences). If the hottub chemicals were out of balance, there can be further complications from pathogens in the hottub that can infect the itchy skin lesions and make the chronic dermatitis even more difficult to treat. Here is an image of a pseudomonas folliculitis (hot tub rash, thanks to www.skinsight.com for this image).
Usually this condition warrants a referral to a skin specialist (dermatologist). Corticosteroid injection into some of the skin lesions and /or topical application in combination with lubricants applied to the skin will control the rash within a period of 30 days. However, the patient has to be in close contact with the physician to assess progress of the treatment.
During a period of two months the patient needs to refrain from the use of hottubs, hot baths and hot showers. Use cool water only. Some soaps are not suitable as they could be irritating the skin and this should be discussed with the physician. In case of superinfection this will have to be treated with a combination of an oral antibiotic for bacterial superinfection and/or an antifungal for fungal superinfection (Ref. 7).
Related to this type of skin infection is swimmers itch.
This is an allergic dermatitis caused by larvae (cercariae) of snails in the case of fresh water swimmer’s itch. Alternatively a similar skin rash (clam digger’s itch) can be caused by schistosomes that are related to, but different from the strains that cause schistosomiasis. In both cases the parasites live for a few days in the skin triggering a severe itch accompanied by fever, which can last as long as one week. It is self limiting, because the immune system takes care of the intruders and the itchy rash simply disappears after that. However, at the time of the peak of the itch the patient needs medical attention for diagnostic purposes and to get relief with a locally applied corticosteroid cream and an oral antihistamine drug.
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