Hot Tub Health Risks & Benefits: Improved Sleep & Health to Chlorine Rash & Bacterial Infections
Whether you’re looking for a way to relieve stress, reduce pain, or lose weight, there’s a plethora of hot tub benefits to be gained from soaking in a spa. Still, it’s important to be aware of hot tub health risks. These range from hot tub skin irritation, such as chlorine rash, to bacterial infection from a hot tub. By being aware of hot tub risks and taking extra precautions, you can easily prevent hot tub health risks and safely maximize hot tub health benefits.
HOT TUB HEALTH RISKS
Chlorine is the most commonly used hot tub sanitizer to prevent and kill germs such as folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria, viruses, and algae. However, chlorine removes the natural oil from the skin and can cause hot tub skin irritation. Chlorine rash is most likely to occur after chlorine shock treatment or cleaning of the spa because that’s when chlorine levels tend to be high. But chlorine rash can even occur at normal levels. Also, when bodily fluids interact with chlorine, it creates compounds called chloramines, which also cause chlorine rash.
If you spend much time in a hot tub or have psoriasis or eczema, this also increases your risk of developing chlorine rash. Even the process of adding chlorine to your spa can cause chlorine rash and hot tub skin irritation.
To prevent chlorine rash:
avoid using more chlorine than necessary
shower with soap and water after hot tub use
cover your skin and wear rubber gloves when adding chlorine to the spa
Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner is also an excellent solution to reduce hot tub risks of chlorine rash. It will reduce the frequency and amount of chlorine and other chemicals required to sanitize your hot tub.
Bromine is an alternative sanitizer. It’s used to prevent and kill germs including folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria that lead to hot tub skin irritation. But bromine tablets and salt/oxidizer systems also sometimes contain chlorine. When the chlorine in the tablets runs low, more bromine must be added. This can cause the left-over bromine to reach toxic levels and result in bromine rash on your trunk and thighs.
Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner solves the problem of hot tub skin irritation by reducing the amount of toxic chemicals needed to maintain a sanitary spa.
Folliculitis hot tub rash
Hot tubs can become contaminated with the folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria known as pseudomonas aeruginosa. This hot tub skin irritation is one of the most common types of bacterial infection from a hot tub. Folliculitis hot tub rash can affect any area of the body and causes itchy red bumps.
There are several ways to prevent folliculitis hot tub rash and its symptoms. Proper hot tub care and sanitization are the most effective ways to prevent and eradicate folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria. Spa Marvel products make it easier to clean your hot tub and equipment and maintain proper pH and chlorine levels in the water. Additional ways to reduce hot tub health risks and this form of hot tub skin irritation are to:
avoid overly crowded hot tubs
immediately change out of your bathing suit after getting out of the spa
wash your swimsuit after each use rather than letting it dry
Burns and scalding
If hot tub water gets too hot, it can scald or burn you. Most modern hot tubs are designed with thermometer and temperature controls. Many newer models are also designed never to exceed the maximum recommended temperature of 104 °F. Still, equipment issues or water levels can cause water to overheat. To be safe:
pay attention to hot tub error codes
know what they mean
don’t enter a hot tub that may be overheated until it has cooled
This form of pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection from a hot tub and occurs when Legionella bacteria are inhaled. Legionella bacteria are naturally found in water. So when hot tubs lack proper sanitization, these bacteria can contaminate the water. Then when you breathe in the hot tub steam, you become infected.
Prevention of legionnaire’s disease is simple by properly disinfecting hot tub water. Spa Marvel Water Treatment & Conditioner makes it easier to maintain proper pH and chlorine levels to give you added peace of mind.
E. coli and shigellosis
These infectious diseases can result from a bacterial infection from a hot tub or swimming pool. Shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery, can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, cramps, and diarrhea. It can be contracted by ingesting water (or food) contaminated with infected fecal matter.
E. coli is a serious disease that damages the intestines’ linings resulting in hemorrhagic colitis. Unlike folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria, E. coli causes diarrhea that can range from mildly to severely bloody. E. coli is transmitted by entering or drinking contaminated water.
Prevention of E. coli and shigellosis involves properly cleaning and disinfecting hot tub water to keep it free of these bacteria. It’s also essential to test the water regularly for these bacteria.
Hot tub risks of fainting
High water temperatures increase hot tub health risks of fainting. This can be particularly dangerous because it poses a risk of drowning. Several factors increase your risk of fainting in a hot tub. Alcohol consumption particularly increases hot tub risks of fainting. Water temperatures above 104 °F also dramatically heighten the possibility and contribute to other hot tub risks as well, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. The reason is that warmer water temperatures restrict blood flow to the brain. Then when you stand up, it causes systolic blood pressure to drop dramatically.
Thomas Allison, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic, recommends keeping the water temperature at 104 °F or less. Also, avoid staying in the hot tub for more than 10-15 minutes.
Lung bacterial infection from a hot tub
If you have an indoor spa, hypersensitivity pneumonitis is another one of the hot tub risks. This is another bacterial infection from a hot tub, also known as hot tub lung. When Mycobacterium avium are present in your hot tub, the bacteria enter the water steam, and you inhale the endotoxins. Hot tub lung causes coughing, fatigue, appetite loss, fever, and difficulty breathing, among other respiratory symptoms.
The solution to prevent hot tub lung, like any other bacterial infection from a hot tub, such as folliculitis hot tub rash, is regularly cleaning your filters and spa. Spa Marvel Filter Cleaner is an effective cleaning solution and safer for your hot tub and equipment.
If you have a heart condition, soaking in a hot tub may potentially increase your hot tub health risks, according to Cleveland Clinic. When you submerge yourself in hot water, the body’s cooling system doesn’t work. This can cause your body to become superheated and result in dilated blood vessels, diversion of blood away from the body core, and increased heart rate. However, according to William Kormos, M.D. at Harvard Health, there are only a few scientific studies on the effects of hot tubs on the heart. He says reports are unconvincing.
If you have a heart condition, talk with your doctor first to be safe. Cardiologist, Dr. Rimmerman also recommends making sure the water temperature isn’t too hot and limiting hot tub use to short intervals. Also, drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
Hot tub health risks during pregnancy
Research on the effects of hot tub use during pregnancy is limited. But some research suggests a small increased risk of neural tube defects or miscarriage. Therefore, medical experts agree pregnant women should use caution. Also, the risk of bacterial infection from a hot tub is of particular concern during pregnancy. Folliculitis hot tub rash bacteria and other dangerous bacteria can pose hot tub health risks that may be exacerbated by pregnancy. So many medical experts don’t recommend hot tub use during pregnancy. If you do use a hot tub:
avoid sitting by the inlet which provides heated water
keep your arms, shoulders, upper chest, and head above water
get out if you experience discomfort
limit hot tub use to 10 minutes
HOT TUB BENEFITS
Fortunately, by following proper precautions, hot tub health benefits can outweigh hot tub health risks such as chlorine rash. Warm water soaking provides a variety of hot tub health benefits for both the mind and body, particularly the musculoskeletal system. The reasons soaking in hot water is so beneficial, according to the Arthritis Foundation, are that:
it relieves joint compression caused by gravity
decreases inflammation and swelling
provides complete support to sore limbs
Most people heat their hot tubs to 100 to 102 °F. But for optimal hot tub health benefits, the Arthritis Foundation recommends 92 °F to 100 °F to prevent heart stress.
The following are just a few of the excellent hot tub health benefits you can expect.
Decreased anxiety, stress, and depression
Endorphins are the naturally occurring chemicals our bodies produce to relieve pain and stress. Certain things help the body release these natural pain killers, such as warm water. Because warm water is soothing, it causes the skin to release endorphins much in the same way as the warmth of the sun on your skin releases the chemicals. So regularly soaking in a hot tub can dramatically improve your mood and ability to manage stress. In turn, because of the influential role mood plays in physical health, it’s one of the most valuable hot tub benefits.
Hot tub benefits better sleep
Circadian rhythm is the internal clock that cycles between our alertness and sleepiness. Another one of the hot tub benefits is that soaking in warm water has a positive effect on circadian rhythm resulting in better sleep. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin found that warm water bathing 1 to 2 hours before bedtime helps people sleep better. The reason for this has to do with the way the circadian clock regulates the body’s core temperature. To cool the core body temperature down for sleep, researchers say soaking 90 minutes before bed is the most optimal.
Ache and pain relief
Hydrotherapy, which is the use of water to promote health and treat various conditions, has been around since at least 4500 b.c. based on ruins found in Pakistan. Later, bathhouses became an essential part of Roman culture. Today, we have the science to support hydrotherapy’s effectiveness in relieving aches and pain, among other hot tub health benefits.
For sore muscles or osteoarthritis, soaking in a hot tub for 15 minutes helps loosen up muscles, improve flexibility, and relieve muscle aches. Part of the treatment for osteoarthritis is exercise. So it’s an effective way to prepare your muscles before walking or working out.
Fibromyalgia pain can also be reduced with hot tub soaking because of warm water’s effects on circulation, muscle relaxation, swelling and inflammation, and sore joints.
If you have back pain caused by an acute injury, sciatica, herniated disk, or osteoporosis, you can also experience hot tub benefits. Heat is one of the most effective forms of treatment (after the first 48 to 72 hours after injury) for back pain. To achieve best results, position the hot tub jets on the painful area of your back. If you take pain medication that causes drowsiness, be sure to allow the medicine to wear off before getting into a hot tub.
Weight loss and inflammation
Although passive weight loss doesn’t offer all the cardio and health benefits of exercise, it’s nonetheless one of the many hot tub benefits. A small study at Loughborough University found that hot baths do burn a sizeable number of calories.
The study consisted of 14 men recruited for activities to increase core body temperature by 1-degree Celsius over a period of one hour. Activities consisted of various forms of exercise, such as cycling, as well as soaking in water. Study participants also spent one-hour soaking in a 104 °F bath. It turns out this passive activity expended the same amount of energy as a 30-minute walk or about 140 calories for men. So soaking in a hot tub is an excellent way to shed additional pounds.
Blood sugar responses were also monitored in the same study. Hot bathing and exercise were found to have a similar response. Still, hot water soaking resulted in a 10% lower peak blood sugar level than exercise.
The researchers also found an inflammatory response to hot bathing is similar to exercise. This suggests chronic inflammation, as commonly seen in diabetes and other long-term diseases, may be reduced by repeated passive heating.