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Go Ahead Hop In That Hot Tub! But, Read This Before You Do

I love hot tubs and will soak in one whenever invited or given the opportunity. It’s not like I haven’t heard this stuff before, but I thought I would share in case you hadn’t. Depending on the maintenance and care of said hot tub, the hygiene of people who soak in it, (besides you), the weather, the quality and temperature of the water; there are, shall I say–opportunities to catch unpleasant to even deadly infections.

One common germ can give you an infection nicknamed “hot tub rash”. I’d give you the scientific name but it is the stuff nightmares are made of! It can show up within a few days of your hot tub dip and will follow the line of your swimsuit. It is itchy and can become bumpy, but will normally clear up on its own in a couple of days.

Legionnaire’s disease, (a form of pneumonia) definitely won’t go away on its own, can actually kill you and is another infection which is possible to acquire in and around hot tubs. The Legionella germ which can flourish in warm water and be inhaled from the steam around you in the hot tub is the culprit here.

Now let’s introduce the human element shall we? According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology and environmental studies at the University of Arizona, each human hot tubber enters the water with a tenth of a gram of “doody”, (I’m trying to be delicate) in their gluteal fold, (yup-butt crack). So, if you’re soakin’ with 5 buddies you are sitting in approximately a tablespoon of- -“doody”! People also put the “p” in “pool” and when urine mixes with other waste it forms chloramine and that is what irritates your eyes and breathing.

People in hot tub watching soccer game in England
Getty Images

I will also mention the various soaps, lotions, perfumes, oils and elixirs people slather all over themselves on a daily basis! Okay, I’m making myself gag, so enough already!

If you however, care to delve deeper into this subject before you slide into that oh-so-inviting hot tub, check out this article or this report from the CDC.

Granted, the number of infections reported by the Centers for Disease Control are low; considering the number of hot tubs there are and the millions of people who use them. But if you’d rather not risk it at all you may want to think twice


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