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Dermatitis Of Jacuzzi


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).


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).

Dermatitis Of Jacuzzi (Hottub Rash Can Develop From The Chronic Use Of Hottubs)

Dermatitis Of Jacuzzi (Hottub Rash Can Develop From The Chronic Use Of Hottubs)

Related to this type of skin infection is swimmer’s itch.

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.


1. Habif: Clinical Dermatology, 3rd ed.,1996, Mosby-Year  Book, Inc.

2. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse  Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 117.

3. Cotran: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, 6th ed.,1999, W. B.  Saunders Company

4. Noble: Textbook of Primary Care Medicine, 3rd ed., 2001, Mosby,  Inc.

5. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2001, 53rd ed., 2001, W. B. Saunders  Company

6. Goroll: Primary Care Medicine, 4th ed., 2000, Lippincott Williams &  Wilkins

7. Richard J. Lewis, M.D. at the 42nd Annual St. Paul’s Hosp. CME  Conf., Nov.1996, Vancouver/BC

More references

8. Jerry Shapiro, Prof. Dermatol., UBC, at 45th Annual St. Paul’s Hosp.  CME Conf., Nov.1999, Vancouver/BC

9. D Seager Int J Cosmet Surg Vol 6, No. 1, 1998: 27-31.

10. Townsend: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 16th ed.,2000, W. B.  Saunders Company

11. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc.

12. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier

Last modified: April 12, 2021

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.