When most people look at a spa pool, they see potential for relaxation. Others, however, see potential for aggravation. People with skin conditions like eczema are understandably wary about soaking in water treated with chemicals. But are these worries justified? Should someone with eczema avoid spa pools, and the joy that they can bring?
Certain spa pools have the potential to cause discomfort for certain eczema sufferers, because chlorine can aggravate the condition. But by choosing a spa that uses limited chemicals, people with eczema can find spa water perfectly comfortable. Science says that it can even have a positive effect on the condition.
How does spa pool water interact with eczema? And how can a person with eczema minimise the chances of experiencing aggravation, to enjoy the incredible benefits that a personal backyard spa pool can bring? Read on to find out.
Can you go in a hot tub with eczema?
First things first: you can certainly soak in a spa pool if you have eczema. Many people with the skin condition find spa pools perfectly comfortable, and in some cases even soothing.
If you have eczema, and have never soaked in a spa pool before, you just need to be aware that certain people with the skin condition can find a soak in a spa pool a little uncomfortable, particularly after the fact. Not dangerously so – there’s no real risk in testing your own reaction with a quick soak. But just be prepared for the fact that you mightn’t enjoy the experience as much as your friends and family. Your skin’s response to spa pool water is very much an individual, case by case thing.
Does chlorine cause eczema flare-ups?
Spa pool water is usually treated with chlorine to keep it free from contaminants like bacteria and viruses. If you’ve ever opened your eyes underwater in a pool, you might be familiar with the dryness and slightly hazy vision that can occur afterwards, which is a common effect of that chlorine.
A similar dryness can be felt by sufferers of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis after immersing themselves in chlorine-treated water, though many people with eczema experience no discomfort at all. Spa pool water is like anything that comes into contact with your skin – it may cause aggravation, it may not. The reaction is a very individual thing.
While chlorine can cause dryness and aggravate eczema, there are ways to mitigate the chances of this aggravation happening to you. Moisturising your skin after a soak can help to guard against dryness and aggravation, and you can also choose a spa pool that only uses a limited amount of chlorine to keep its waters clean (but more on that in a moment.)
Are chlorinated pools good for eczema?
Perhaps surprisingly, some people with eczema actually find the treated waters of a spa pool quite soothing. That’s not just for the endless health and wellness benefits that a spa pool can bring – although they certainly help – it’s because the right amount of chlorine can actually be good for eczema-affected skin.
In 2018 a scientific study focused on using diluted bleach baths – which use the same water treatment chemical as swimming pools and spa pools – to treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema. It found that at low levels, the chemical could actually reduce itching and inflammation, by killing the bacteria that can aggravate eczema flare-ups, and all without damaging the skin barrier.
While the study admits that more research is needed to understand how these chemicals can help eczema sufferers, it’s a promising finding for people with eczema who would love to own their own backyard spa pool.
Hot Spring’s FreshWater Salt system: a more soothing soak
An important fact for those with eczema to consider is that some spa pools use less chlorine than others. In fact, by choosing the right water care system, you could keep your water clean, clear and fresh while using hardly any chlorine at all.
The FreshWater Salt System by Hot Spring is a revolution in spa pool water care technology. Available on Highlife and Limelight collection spas, this system sees you add just a little bit of salt to your spa pool water, which is converted to chlorine by a titanium cartridge. This system dramatically drops the amount of chlorine required to keep your water clean, which in turn reduces the potential for it to aggravate skin while all but removing that chlorine smell.
There are a wealth of other benefits too. You don’t need to add chlorine daily or weekly – just replace the titanium cartridge ~3 times per year, in a tool-free process that takes seconds. And rather than draining and refilling your spa pool every 2-4 months, as you’ll need to do with a conventional system, a FreshWater Salt-fitted machine will keep your water fresh for up to a year!
At the end of the day, how your skin reacts with spa pool chemicals is a very personal thing. Some people with eczema experience adverse effects, while others find spa water soothing.
It’s for this reason that we at Hot Spring believe you should be able to try before you buy. We offer our customers the opportunity to enjoy a test soak – a chance to take your togs down to your local dealer and experience the Hot Spring difference for yourself.