Hot tub rash is usually resolved without treatment within 2 weeks.
Individuals with hot tub rash usually have a history of one of the following:
- Bathing in a contaminated spa, swimming pool, or hot tub
- Using a contaminated loofah sponge
- Wearing a contaminated diving suit
- Groin and buttocks ("bathing suit" distribution)
- Abdomen or lower back
- Chest or upper back
- Upper arms
- Upper legs
Hot tub rash typically arises within 1–4 days of exposure to the contaminated source. In addition to the rash, symptoms can include mild fever, headache, sore throat, and fatigue. Swollen and tender lymph nodes (glands that help produce antibodies, special proteins that fight off infection) may occur. Breast tenderness occasionally develops in both men and women, as glands in the nipple may become infected.
Although hot tub rash usually resolves within 7–14 days without treatment, the rash may leave behind patches of darker (hyperpigmented) skin. These patches are more pronounced in darker-skinned people and may take months to return to normal pigmentation.
If the rash is itchy, an over-the-counter antihistamine may be helpful.
No special therapy is required, typically. However, in severe cases, your physician may recommend the following:
- Acetic acid compresses
- An oral antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin
- Topical antibiotic cream, such as gentamicin