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Help: some chemical causing allergic rash from hot tub


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I've had a little luck with Spa Selections Moisturizer. In the winter I get really dry, itchy skin on my calves and my wife gets rashes on her bathing suit lines.

We put it in before most uses and both of us seem to be a little better now. It does have a mild, pleasant fragrance, but some people hate having any fragrance at all. I was especially concerned about screwing up the water chemistry and tub cleanliness, but neither has been a problem. It's relatively cheap and enough of a help that I will probably keep using it. Nothing beats lotioning after, though. Good luck.

https://www.spaselections.com/our-products/cleaners-accessories/moisturizer

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this is a good opportunity to "over purge" if you will, to help rule out the factor of biofilms.  one thing we know -- you got better.  So you could still have biofilms in your spa.  all automatic dis

@dlleno true very good point; I was going to ask about leaving the ahhsome in overnight and I think it's a wonderful idea. I hear you on putting the filters in after we think we got most of the gunk;

Oh No....o yuk is horrible and very weak (read my blog i tested this head to head with ahhsome.).   Even the label directions indicate that the company is clueless .  They dont know how biofilms work

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2 hours ago, meh64 said:

I've had a little luck with Spa Selections Moisturizer. In the winter I get really dry, itchy skin on my calves and my wife gets rashes on her bathing suit lines.

We put it in before most uses and and both of us seem to be a little better now. It does have a mild, pleasant fragrance, but some people hate having any fragrance at all. I was especially concerned about screwing up the water chemistry and tub cleanliness, but neither has been a problem. It's relatively cheap and enough of a help that I will probably keep using it. Nothing beats lotioning after, though. Good luck.

https://www.spaselections.com/our-products/cleaners-accessories/moisturizer

Do you have a bromine or chlorine system.  Do you experience excess foam?

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On 2/12/2021 at 6:14 PM, dlleno said:

Cass -- you made a very interesting observation -- that the problem gets worse over time, and that you can go four weeks now instead of two.  that tells me you have achieved partial success.  But to me it sounds like your skin is sensitive to the accumulation of something in the spa water -- for example maybe its just the total dissolved solids.  The only way to fix that is to drain more often.  There is also the accumulated CYA itself.   have you tried bromine (you could run a  bromine spa with zero CYA, although I don't know of anyone who has tried this...).     how about a silver cartridge with a low level of bromine?  

Hi @dlleno- yes to me it seems like since it was 1 person using it instead of two this last time, I got twice as much time out of it before having problems.  I agree it's something accumulating. I am unclear why CYA increases over use in my use case? I do not use dichlor and I just use bleach essentially once I set the CYA to 30ppm at fillup. When this skin problem first happened, I was almost positive it was CYA causing this because I used dichlor before and the spa company just told me to keep adding that after using it- which accumulated too much CYA, and the chlorine is too slow to respond thus causing bacteria etc etc. However, this was also one of the chemicals I've tested in the bath tub, even at double the ppm that's in the hot tub (I used it with chlorine also) so it's not a reaction to just the CYA itself. I definitely can't keep up draining the thing every month, nor would I want to from an environmental perspective.

I also get a ring rash around my wedding rings which have stone settings in them which accumulate something that makes me quite itchy and rashy over a few months. I do not have any metal allergies- so it must be skin and crap?

At this point I'm not sure what else to try besides bromine- I was going to try thoroughly cleaning the filters every single week after a thorough decontamination again with ahhsome, and see how far I get with deep cleaning filters often and use the Hot Tub Serum that I purchased a while back as required.

As soon as the weather is good enough I'm draining and doing another fill. 

PS @Apollothesunsounds like you have some control of your skin problems and I hope it helps @meh64! My husband has the same issue from sweating and working out- he stopped exercising in Covid and it's completely gone!! The hot tub doesn't seem to bother it at all though. 

Cassie 

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total dissolved solids will accumulate, i.e. all the byproducts of sanitation that don't end up in the air.  you could just drain really often.  sounds to me like you have a skin sensitivity that is fairly rare among spa users, so you'll have to take extraordinary measures.  have you tried bromine?

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On 4/29/2020 at 6:06 PM, Cassiemoreira said:

Hi RDspaguy!

We've never dropped under 1ppm of chlorine on this fill (we decontaminated per the directions here at second fill), although on our first one we had some real trouble until we found your forum here and followed all the recommendations. The spa shop really sent us barking up the wrong tree. Now our water is crystal clear!

Presently we have 3ppm chlorine, 0.5ppm CC, CYA @ around 30ppm, TA is 120, calcium hardness about 75, pH 7.4, and temp of the tub is kept 99-100. 

Our water has a very high TA from the tap (250), so it took a LONG time to get it to come down, but finally did, just felt like we had to add a lot of acid and to get it to come down then had to add soda ash to get the PH back up a bit. 

Thank you all so much, I'm truly at a loss here and would appreciate ANY recommendations at all. 

Cassie

Hi Cassie,

reading back at your post, i wanted to share my refill experience last weekend.  

I did a refill last saturday after using the spa guard enzyme on Friday.  It was comfortable while in the tub, had a little foaming but i knew my water was tired and decided to decontaminate using aaawhesome and super clorinating to 20ppm. Drained, wiped dry then proceeded to use gel gloss to protect the fiberglass. sprayed downed to flush any residue, with wet dry vacuum.  

Went to refill and before i added anything to the fill water, i went ahead and got a baseline with my test kit.  previously i was using the dip test strip but wanted to erase any doubt about what my fill water is.  Coming straight off the hose from city water,  

Ph 7.2, calcium 450ppm, chlorine .5-1ppm, alkalinity 50ppm, borates undetectable, cyna not detectable.

first thing i noticed right away was my high calcium.  I should be in the 150-200 range.  Previously i would add half a cup of calcium due to the test strips readings and it caught me off guard.  I have since purchase a pleatco pre-fill water filler to do top offs and for the next water change fill up.

so i went to adjust my chlorine level to 10 but accidentally put to much dichlor using the spa calculutor and shot up to 20 ppm.  so i decided to say screw it and adjust the chlorine level the next day while the tub was heating to temperature.  I proceeded to adjust the alkalinity to 80 and borates to 50.  Then the next day at water temp of 101, i decided to add hydrogen peroxide 3% to lower the chlorine to 8 ppm so i can use.  Testing cyna was at 60 and aerated till 7.5ph.  Added a capful of spa enzyme and I went to enter the spa.  I noticed the water was way comfortable than previous sittings.  I noticed that i was able to sweat right away and when exiting i did not feel any on set of itching.  Although i cant adjust the calcium right now, i will definitely take more notice on my next refill.  i did notice calcium deposit on my fiberglass water line previously too before draining. 

Nitro Dichlor/Bleach method recommends calcium at 100-150ppm.

Just a thought, maybe taking a look at your calcium level?

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