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Okay....ever heard of 'Hot tub rash'
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Okay....ever heard of 'Hot tub rash'

Need some help...Have any of you ever heard of something called "hot tub rash"?  We went away for the weekend, and my husband and 2 kids spent all of their time in the hot tub/pool.  They all have this strange rash all over their bodies...I took my daughter to the DR. b/c I was afraid it was bedbugs from the hotel.  The doc said it was folliculitis from the hot tub.  What in the world????  Has anyone experienced this, and how long till it goes away?

thanks...Heather<<paranoid freak mom
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Avatar_n_tn
oh heather your kidding? man, that must have been some hotel you stayed at if you thought they were bedbugs! LOL..
anyway, you can get folliculitus (folliculitis) from hot tubs, spas, pools that are not adequately clorinated.
It's a staph infection/inflamation of the follicules. the bacteria thrives in the warm water.
the bumps are red, itchy and some can blister/pus. if your family has a mild case then you don't need to treat it but if its severe, then an antibiotic, anticeptic or cream will help.
you may want to give the hotel a call and let the owner know what happened. someone else is bound to get it too.
hope it goes away fast. i am sure you were freaking out!!! (as i would be).
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Avatar_f_tn
Yep--I'm dying over here.  It was a brand new Holiday Inn Express...like $150 a night.  Super nice, everything was clean...marble tops in the bathroom...etc.  I just freaked out, (you know me and my parasitosis....)I wanted to rule that out first, and of course, that's not what it is.  Then I was just shocked to hear that you could get a staph. infection from a hot tub.  Disgusting!!  Makes me wanna get my bubble out, put my kids in it, and never let them leave the house.  What's next???  Ick.  That's all I have to say.
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Avatar_f_tn
oh my heck that is scary. i'm with you there. that would freak me out. i've never heard of it, but i'd definitely be on the phone with that hotel asking for some money back. yuck yuck yuck. and your poor kids.

and i saw on the news the other day that there is a bed bug "epidemic" in hotels.. creepy crawly.

anyhow, hope your kids and your DH get over the itchy scratchies soon and that you get some of your $$ back from holiday inn.
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Avatar_n_tn
You should totally freak out and complain to the manager of the hotel and say that your kids and husband got this terrable rash from their spa, and you're thinking about suing for mental stress (or something) And waite and see what kind of cool free stuff you'll get. :-)

But anyways..Yeah, public pool and spa's often carry lots of bacteria. Even with the chlorine, other peoples lotions, shampoos, makeup and everything tend to bubble up.. Ever notice those bubbles with a dirty film on the top?? That's particles of peoples skin too. It's SO nasty. I've broken out in a rash from going to my first appartments spa. I had bumps on my butt and thighs and on my arms for about a week.. It itched and felt chappy. Oh, and another time, I had a weird rash on my face that burned REALLY bad when I was on vacation. I know for sure it was from the pool... I also got my 6th grade graduation ring stolen that weekend... (memories) Anywhoo
Sometimes these things happen... You're probably not the only family that has it... Ew, can you imagine the possibilities? Okay, I'm grosing myself out on hotel/public pool and spas... lol.
Good luck taking care of the little ones!
<3 Jenni
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Avatar_n_tn
Take pictures of the rash on all of them. Save the bill from the Dr. visit and call the hotel and complain about what happened. They will probably just try to comp you a night or two during your next visit. Tell them you don't anticipate EVER staying in a hotel again due to the phobia you now have and they will hopefully at least return your money for the time you were there.You could also request any out of pocket expenses of taking your daughter to the doctor for the diagnosis.  I saw a story last week on the Today show where this woman stayed at a hotel with her husband (he had business) and she had like 500 bed bug bites which she had dx'd at the ER and then returned to the hotel where she stayed another night. She then returned a couple of weeks later, using the comp'd nights the hotel offered as a settlement. Now she is suing them for like 10 million? Something rediculous like that. Don't get me wrong, the bites were gross, and she had pics of the bugs all over the mattress of this 5 star hotel. But she went back!!! Who does that??
As for the pool. Strangers bathing together, that's all it is. And I don't put a toe in my own bath tub unless I have COMETIZED it first.LOL  Good rule of thumb is if you don't smell the chlorine when you approach the pool area, don't get in. Hope you guys are feeling better soon!
--J
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Avatar_n_tn
I have never been big on any type of public pool/hot tub area. But now you have scared me away for sure (probably a good thing).  

I sure hope you guys are feeling better.  I would take everyones advice and contact the hotel....actualy since it is a major chain I would get thier coroprate information and take it up with them.  (They may be independant though...I am not sure)  

Don't let this go.  Just remember, other people will be going there too...you ned to make sure this does not happen to them.


Jo -- OMG -- the lady went back.  That is crazy.  Heck, I went to a restraunt one time and had a hair in my food.  They offered me a free meal in the future (of course I did not pay for the one with the hair either).  I told them no, I would not be back for a long time.  It was probably 5 years or so before I went back.  And only then it was because they were under new management and I knew people who had been there and said they were way better now.  I can't imaging going BACK to a hotel that had bugs.   That is just crazy.  (She may have been plainning the lawsuit and wanted more amunition.)

Take care,

Amanda
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Avatar_n_tn
HI Maryheather - I had that once...was in a friends hottub for a few hours and a couple of days later, got a rash on my entire body..everywhere...little red bumps...even on my face because some of the water got on there..went to my doctor..she took one look after I described where I had been and she said it's "Whirlpool Foliculits (folliculitis)"...she gave me VERY strong antibiotics and I cleared up within a week or soo...It was brutal though... another friend had the same thing, but not near as bad as me - her's cleared up within a couple of days..  The cause of this is due to the chemicals being "off" in the tub...lots of people, detergents affecting the levels etc.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well,something like that happen to me to in MY!!!hottub.I think it was because I stayed in there about an hour and a half or so and I ended up with an umbareable itch on my stomach and my thighs to my ankels,but the strange thing is that after it had itched for a while then it started to burn and i ignored it but then it hurt!Yeah evey time I would touch it it would hurt!Strange...well i hope your well now and the little ones to to!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all very much for this information we just returned from a family vacation in a bequtuiful home in Topsail NC.  This home had a hot tub of course the boys loved getting in it. Next think you know they developed  these red spots on their face stomach & back they looked lkike bug bites but no one else had them & we did not use the hot tub & after they appeared we checked out the hot tub. GROSS!!  A managent company or lck of is supposed to be taking care of the residence but obviously doingf NOTHING with the hot tub.  At any rate....this was very helpful information & I thank you all!

~Shelli~
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Avatar_m_tn
I certainly appreciate how passionate you all are for the well-being of your families.  I do, however, want to point out some things I hope will enlighten you.  I am a business owner in the hospitality industry with over 10 years experience with hot tubs.  I understand the quick desire to assign blame to a hotel or establishment, but I feel obligated to break some news to you... you are also a little bit to blame.  If your post is correct that your family spent "all of their time" in the hot tub, then you at least to a certain extent brought this on yourself.  I don't want to point the finger, but please let me make my case.  I encourage you all to read up more on the pseudomonas bacteria and others commonly found to cause "hot tub rash".  The fact of the matter is that this bacteria was probably on the skin of someone in your family (it occurs naturally on the skin of something like 40% of people... and it has very little to do with hygiene).  The presence of the bacteria on the surface of the skin is not a problem, but when the bacteria infects deep into a hair follicle (that's why it's called folliculitis) then the pus, rash, bump, etc occurs and is usually present with a mild fever, too.  How does it get into the hair follicle??  By prolonged exposure to the warm water, that's how. The same thing can happen with wet suits while scuba diving or whitewater rafting, tight-fitting athletic wear like biking shorts, etc because these garments hold warmth to your skin for a long time and the pores open up and can and allow infection of the hair follicle.

You will see warning signs on hot tubs tell you to limit use, and more importantly to shower before entering the tub (does anybody EVER do this?  I don't think so).  Showering will remove most of the existing bacteria on your skin and keep others in the tub safe from you.   Additionally, overloading a hot tub (too long of use, too many people, etc) will cause the chemical balance in the tub to decrease and the aforementioned, naturally-occurring bacteria will not get eliminated by the chemicals that should be there.  You also need to ask yourself if you allowed the kids to take the floating chemical dispenser that was probably in the tub out when they were using it.  If so, then again you brought this partially on yourself, as that floating dispenser of bromine is needed the MOST when your whole family is in the tub for an entire weekend.

To help you understand how the chemicals work in a hot tub, let me explain a few things.  Hot tubs usually use bromine, not chlorine (like in pools) because bromine does not break down as fast in heat.  The breaking down of the chemicals is what allows the bacteria to live.  Other things that break down the chemicals are excessive impurities in the water like sweat, urine (and I know YOUR kids would never urinate in the water, but some do, trust me), beer (you've all been to a "hot tub party", right?), etc.  Basically, anything out of the "normal" range of use.  And you need to know why a tub is described as a "four-person" hot tub when clearly you can fit more than that in there?  Well, that is what defines the "normal" use... as does a "normal" length of time to be in it.  I feel fairly certain that the usage your family inflicted on this tub was way above "normal", and the chemicals hardly stood a chance to work as they were supposed to.

So, I apologize if this sounds like I am blaming you.  That's not my intent.  I merely want you to understand how to protect yourselves in the future, as there's not really a need to avoid hot tubs completely.  The real need is just to use them properly.

I wish you all many more enjoyable family vacations without incident, now that you know a little bit more.
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Avatar_f_tn
My dad is VERY particular about the chemicals in his hot tub, cleaning it out, etc. and I still caught hot tub folliculitus (folliculitis) from his. I was in with my mom and her friend and neither of them have a rash. So I think "getoutoftown" may be right about people carrying the bacteria on their skin. However, I personally tend to avoid public tubs as it is like you are bathing with others in a big tub....GROSS!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry not true, I got it after 10 minutes in one tub. The following year the same thing, in the same tub. In between I was in at least 10 other tubs and pools without any problems. Had it once before that, in a rented ski resort appt where the maintenance guys topped the tub up with surrounding snow. Didn't clear until we moved to a house with our own tub that we maintained well. Hot tub rash is caused by sloppy caretakers, not bathers.
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