Bubbling hot tub

Hot Tub Help

It’s been below freezing here in the Northeast. The kids have been excited to go into our hot tub. Chase insists that we should go into the hot tub when it’s really cold. Hmmm . . . what is his definition of “really cold”? Fortunately, we’re finally approaching a warm up. It’ll finally be above freezing! I’m hesitant to let the kids in the hot tub in this weather, but they’ve been in hot tubs in the past and loved it.

When we first moved in I had to get the hot tub set up. I wanted the kids to be able to use it and not get a rash. I’ve heard stories from friends with skin conditions and their kids developed terrible rashes after being in the hot tub. I talked to the pool and spa contractor I hired, did research online, and talked to the kids’ pediatrician. All to determine which type of hot tub sanitizer would be best for the kids’ eczema (and mine).

There are several different options – chlorine, salt water, and bromine. Deciding on the best option we took into consideration maintenance of the hot tub, cost, and skin sensitivity.

Chlorine was too harsh on their skin.

After years of the kids swimming in highly chlorinated pools during swim lessons, I knew that chlorine was not good for my kids’ skin. Catherine, who has the worst case of eczema of all my kids, would always develop red, itchy skin after swim lessons. I would have her shower at the aquatic center immediately after lessons and lotion her skin right away. After years of that experience, I knew that once we had our own pool I would not want to expose them to high levels of chlorine. When it came time to set up the hot tub, I had immediately crossed chlorine off the list of options.

Salt water was soft on the skin.

When we moved into our first house, we immediately converted our pool into a salt water pool. It was expensive to convert our pool system to a salt water system, but it was worth it. There was a noticeable difference in Catherine’s skin after using this pool compared to a chlorinated pool. A saltwater conversion would’ve been my preferred choice for the hot tub, but the cost of the conversion was beyond my budget. It should be noted that saltwater systems still produce some chlorine as a sanitizer, but not to the same level as a chlorinated pool.

Bromine was a good compromise.

Bromine was a hot tub sanitizer that I didn’t know much about. I had heard from people with eczema or other skin conditions that they had a good experience with a bromine system in their hot tub. I had done my own research as well and found that it is one of the preferred options for people with sensitive skin. The maintenance work required was manageable for me. It was also a budget-friendly option. Another benefit was that it doesn’t give off the strong chlorine odor. Bromine gives off its own odor, but we didn’t find it offensive.

Making our hot tub work for our family

I listened to the kids and we finally slipped into the hot tub. Well, actually, we made a run for it because it was still cold outside! But the warm water of the hot tub was soothing and they had a lot of fun. When they got out, I had them all take a shower and put lotion all over. That night I didn’t see a rash.

For the following week, they didn’t complain of itchiness any more than normal. There were no bright, red spots of eczema. Since the first time in the hot tub, they’ve been in a few more times. They haven’t complained about their skin itching and I haven’t seen flare-ups. I’ve been careful about letting them in the hot tub for only about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. We’ve been successful with this combination and I’m happy that they are enjoying the hot tub as much as I am.

This is what worked for our family. It’s a good idea to check with your family’s doctors and hot tub professionals for recommendations that best suits your family’s needs.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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