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A split screen of a purple man relaxing in a hot tub, and a man red skinned jumping in pain out of a hot tub

Hot Tubs: Relaxing or Risky for Psoriasis?

My in-laws bought a house closer to where we live this past year. The main selling point of the house for them was that it had a hot tub. My mother in law spent the first 3 months visiting the pool store weekly and perfecting chemical and pH levels. It became a type of art to her. She prided herself on having perfect water. This pride led her to be one of those hot tub pushers. You know, the one that insists you bring a suit with you every time you come to visit?

At first, I thought it sounded pretty nice. I could soak in the water privately (no one ogling my skin) and the warm water would be heavenly on my achy joints. But before I dove in, I wanted to make sure it would be safe for my sensitive skin.

Chlorine- too drying? Or helpful?

Chlorine is a naturally-occurring chemical that is most commonly used for disinfecting and cleaning. It has a very distinct smell that will often transport you back to summer days as a child at the recreational center. In its natural form, it is found in rocks and oceans and has in modern times been used to clean water.

If you ask people with psoriasis how chlorine effects them, you will get VERY mixed answers. Some avoid it like the plague because it causes burning, while others (like me) find it therapeutic. It tends to dry out skin, which isn’t something most of us need extra of. However, my experience has been that the extra drying actually makes my lesions less red for whatever reason. The key I have found is to shower directly after getting out with a mild shampoo or body wash.

How hot is too hot?

Another thing that historically dries out the skin is hot water. That is why my dermatologist always chastises me to stop taking long, hot showers. But, like with chlorine, there can be some benefit if it isn’t too hot. I opt to turn the water down to 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit before I get in. Usually, hot tubs are set anywhere from 102-105, but the lower temperature is still comfortable without risking too much drying. I also limit myself to 15 to 20 minutes in one sitting. This is just enough time to soften up my scales and gives me the ability to easily remove them after I get out. For those really thick areas, this helps so I can get any ointments or sprays down to the right levels of my skin.

Should I or shouldn’t I use the jets?

This is one “luxury” I forego. I find jets to be unbearably brutal on my skin. If there is even the tiniest crack in my skin, it feels like these surges of water tear it wide open. I know I’m in the minority, but I just don’t find being pummeled with aggressive jets relaxing.

Just like everything in a life with psoriasis, hot tubs come down to trial and error. Your skin my revolt, but it also might rejoice. It all depends on your experience and personal preferences. As always, check with your doc if you have any concerns or underlying conditions.

We love to hear from the community. Are you pro or con hot tubs?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com 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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