Can You Get Ringworm From a Hot Tub?


Imagine sinking into a blissfully warm hot tub, the soothing jets massaging your tired muscles as you let go of the day’s worries. Hot tubs have long been a symbol of relaxation and indulgence, offering an oasis of tranquility in the comfort of your own backyard or a luxurious spa. However, amidst the allure of these bubbling havens, concerns about hygiene and potential infections often arise.

One particular question that lingers in the minds of many: can you get ringworm from a hot tub? Ringworm, despite its misleading name, is a fungal infection that affects the skin, scalp, or nails, causing discomfort and unsightly patches. There are a lot of observations to do and find out the causes to eliminate them and if the situation worsens with the infection then apply the treatments as soon as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • There’s no direct relation between ringworm and hot tub but there are some factors concerning hygiene that causes it.
  • It is essential to maintain hygiene in the hot tub to keep yourself safe from any sort of infection.
  • Observe the signs of infection to identify the fungus in the hot tub to prevent getting ringworm before jumping in the water.
  • Apply the right treatment to clear out any signs of ringworm or other possible infections from your hot tub.

Ringworm and Hot Tub

Ringworm and hot tub

Ringworm, despite its name, is not caused by a worm but it happens by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. These fungi thrive on dead skin, hair, and nails, and they can infect various parts of the body, including the scalp, feet, groin, and body. The infection appears as a red, scaly, and itchy rash, often in the shape of a ring (where it gets its name from!). It’s essential to note that ringworm is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces such as the water in a hot tub.

Hot tubs provide a warm and humid environment that becomes the perfect conditions for the growth and survival of various microorganisms, including fungi. The combination of moisture, heat, and the presence of organic matter from sweat, oils, and dead skin cells creates an environment where fungi like dermatophytes can thrive. However, it’s important to note that the chlorine or other sanitizing agents used in hot tubs can help control and eliminate such fungus.

5 Ways to Maintain Hygiene in Hot Tubs

To reduce the risk of contracting ringworm or any other infections from a hot tub, proper hygiene practices are crucial. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Take a thorough shower with soap and water before entering the hot tub to remove any sweat, lotions, or cosmetics that may carry bacteria or fungi.
  2. If you have open wounds, cuts, or skin lesions, it’s best to avoid using a hot tub as it increases the risk of infection.
  3. Wearing clean and properly fitting swimwear can act as a barrier between your skin and the hot tub, reducing the chances of direct contact with any potential contaminants.
  4. It is essential to avoid swallowing the water in a hot tub as it may contain bacteria or other microorganisms.
  5. Prolonged exposure to hot tubs can lead to skin irritation and increase the risk of infections. Limit your time in the hot tub to around 15-20 minutes per session.

5 Tips for Hot Tub Disinfection and Ringworm Prevention

Ways to maintain hygiene in hot tubs

Hot tub owners and operators must prioritize proper disinfection and maintenance to prevent the spread of ringworm and other infections. Here are key steps to ensure a clean and safe hot tub environment:

  1. Maintain proper pH levels and regularly test the water to ensure the appropriate balance of chemicals. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended levels of sanitizer, such as chlorine or bromine, to effectively kill bacteria and fungi.
  2. Run the hot tub jets regularly to ensure proper water circulation. This helps distribute the sanitizer throughout the tub, reaching all areas and reducing the risk of stagnant water where microorganisms can multiply.
  3. Clean and replace the hot tub filter regularly to remove debris, oils, and contaminants that can provide a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
  4. Periodically drain and thoroughly clean the hot tub, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This helps remove any accumulated bacteria, fungi, and other contaminants that may not be effectively eliminated through regular maintenance.
  5. Clean the surfaces of the hot tub, including the walls, seats, and cover, using appropriate cleaning agents recommended by the manufacturer. Regular surface cleaning helps remove any biofilm or residue that may harbor microorganisms.

Signs and Symptoms of Ringworm

Signs and symptoms of ringworm

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of ringworm is essential for early detection and prompt treatment. The common symptoms include:

  • Ringworm typically appears as red, scaly patches on the skin. The patches may be itchy or cause discomfort.
  • The infected area often forms a distinct ring or circular shape, with clear skin in the center.
  • The edges of the rash are typically raised and may appear bumpy or inflamed.
  • Ringworm can cause itching, burning, or discomfort in the affected area.
  • If you suspect you have ringworm, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can You Get a Fungal Infection from a Hot Tub?

Can you get a fungal infection from a hot tub

Yes, it is possible to contract a fungal infection from a hot tub depending on the situation. Fungal infections can be caused by various types of fungi, including those that thrive in warm and moist environments like hot tubs. The most common fungal infection associated with hot tubs is known as, hot tub folliculitis. Hot tub folliculitis is typically caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can sometimes be accompanied by a fungal infection. This condition occurs when bacteria or fungi enter the hair follicles, leading to red, itchy bumps or a rash on the skin. Symptoms of hot tub folliculitis usually appear within a few hours to a few days after exposure and may include small pus-filled blisters.

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How Do I Know If My Hot Tub Has Folliculitis?

Now you might be wondering whether there is a fungal infection in your hot tub or not. If are experiencing persistent symptoms after using a hot tub and suspect that your hot tub may be causing folliculitis, there are several signs and symptoms to look out for. Here are some of them:

  • Folliculitis typically appears as small, red bumps or a rash that may be itchy or uncomfortable. The affected area might be irritated and tender to the touch.
  • In some cases, the bumps may develop into small blisters filled with pus. These blisters can be painful and may burst, causing additional irritation.
  • The bumps and rash associated with folliculitis usually occur around hair follicles. You may notice that the affected areas align with the distribution of your hair.
  • Symptoms of hot tub folliculitis often manifest within a few hours to a few days after exposure to contaminated water. If you recently used a hot tub and developed these symptoms shortly afterward, it could indicate folliculitis.
  • If multiple people who have used the same hot tub develop similar symptoms, it suggests that the hot tub water may be contaminated, increasing the likelihood of folliculitis.
  • If you experience any of these signs and suspect hot tub folliculitis, it is advisable to stop using the hot tub and seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can examine the affected area, evaluate your symptoms, and provide appropriate treatment recommendations, which may include topical or oral medications to alleviate the infection.

Is Chlorine Bad for Ringworm?

Is chlorine bad for ringworm

Chlorine can be effective in reducing the spread of ringworm, but it may not completely eliminate the infection. Since it is a fungal infection that commonly affects the skin, scalp, or nails. While chlorine has some antifungal properties, it may not be sufficient on its own to treat ringworm. This chemical is commonly used as a disinfectant in swimming pools, hot tubs, and other water systems to kill bacteria, viruses, and other types of fungi. It also helps in reducing the risk of spreading bacteria. Ringworms are highly contagious.

They easily get transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, and his usage items like towels, shirts, etc. To break the myth, it is often spread by animals or other contaminated surfaces. Instead of chlorine, you can apply antifungal medications, such as topical creams, ointments, or oral medications. They are effective and usually prescribed by healthcare professionals to fight against ringworms. These medications directly target the fungus causing the infection and are more reliable than relying solely on chlorine or disinfectants.

For further prevention of the spread of ringworm, it is advisable to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly, keeping the infected area clean and dry, and avoiding sharing personal items. While chlorine can have some benefit in reducing the transmission of ringworm in certain environments but seeking professional help or direct assistance would be more reliable.

Are Hot Tubs Infectious?

Hot tubs are generally considered safe for most people, but it’s important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. While they offer relaxation and enjoyment, certain factors can pose health risks if not properly managed. For instance, maintaining the proper water temperature is crucial for a safe hot tub experience. Incorrect temperature settings can promote the growth of bacteria, turning the hot tub into an ideal breeding ground. It’s vital to prioritize effective disease control measures to prevent infections and related complications.

Water quality is another important aspect to consider. Neglecting proper hot tub maintenance can result in poor water quality, increasing the risk of fungal and viral infections. With inappropriate hot water, there is an elevated chance of contracting Legionnaires disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling contaminated water droplets. To note further, it is important to avoid overheating the water in the hot tub. Extremely high temperatures can lead to accidental injuries such as burns or scalds.

So, if you already have blisters or ringworms it would make the situation worse in this case. It is not the hot water that is infectious but the components added to it. Like, the chemicals used in treating hot tub water, as well as in other recreational water systems like swimming pools and tubs, carry potential health risks if not properly administered. It is crucial to follow the recommended guidelines for adding chemicals and maintaining appropriate chemical balance.

12 Essential Treatment Tips for Ringworm

Essential treatment tips for ringworm

The best way to treat ringworm is to use an antifungal medication. Dermatologists recommend the following treatments to prevent the infection from spreading:

  1. You should continue treating the area for as long as your dermatologist recommends. Antifungal medicine may work quickly. You may no longer feel symptoms within a few days. If this happens, you should continue to treat the area.
  2. If you treat ringworm for the recommended amount of time, you will prevent the ringworm from recurring after you stop treating it.
  3. It is important to wash your hands well after touching the area with ringworm and before touching another part of your body. Touching or scratching the area with ringworm can spread it from that part to another.
  4. You want to keep the infected area dry and clean. Ringworm thrives in warm, humid environments, so you want to keep the area dry and clean. Dry the affected area with a clean towel after washing the affected area before you use these towels again, wash them in hot, sudsy water. Don’t wear clothes, socks, or shoes that make you sweat to keep the area dry.
  5. Make sure the area is clean and dry and treat each place you have the ringworms. If you treat only one area, you’ll still have ringworm infection. It can spread quickly to other areas. Because ringworm is highly contagious, you can also spread it to others.
  6. Clothing should be changed every day, including underwear and socks. Workout clothes should also be washed before wearing them again.
  7. You should shower after working out to keep the area dry and free of fungus. Fungi thrive in moist, warm environments.
  8. In locker rooms, showers, and pool areas, wear shower thongs or waterproof shoes. This prevents you from spreading the athlete’s foot or ringworm to others.
  9. When you have ringworm, you should wash clothes, towels, and bedding that you use to avoid re-infecting yourself with the fungi that cause ringworm. Disinfect or throw out infected items.
  10.  If you cannot bear to toss shoes, you can disinfect them using an ultraviolet (UV) shoe sanitizer or ozone cabinet, which you can buy online. You should disinfect items periodically because keeping infected items may make your treatment ineffective.
  11. If you suspect your pet has ringworm, get him or her checked out by your veterinarian. Dogs, cats, and other animals can transmit ringworm to humans. Just like there are effective treatments for people, there are effective treatments for pets as well.
  12. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist. Often, ringworm clears with the first treatment prescribed by a dermatologist. However, some cases are stubborn and patients unknowingly interfere with the treatment.


1. What is The Most Common Way to Get Ringworm?

Skin-to-skin contact is the most common way to get infected by ringworms with a person who is already having it.

2. What kills ringworm fast?

There are various creams, lotions, powders, and other topical and home remedies to kill ringworms fast like salt.

3. Does coconut oil cure ringworm?

Yes, it has both microbial and antifungal properties that can help treat ringworm infections. As a home remedy, it works faster and more effectively.

Final Thoughts

So, throughout the whole discussion whether you can catch ringworm in a hot tub is served in sequence with proper queries. It might sound like it is not possible to get ringworm in contact with hot water but certainly, it happens through various mediums. So there are various causes to know and precaution to take to shield against this infection. Scan through the whole discussion in this article to get a clear glimpse in detailed view for better protection and clear out the fundamentals for yourself and your family as well to enjoy a stress-free bath and relax at the end of the day.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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