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Think twice before you get in that hotel hot tub

Looking forward to your vacation? That's awesome -- but you might want to save a little money and skip the hotel with the hot tub in favor of something a little less dangerous -- like swimming with sharks.

Seriously. Hot tubs are some of the least healthiest places to put your skin. If the fact that there's even an infectious disease (complete with pus-filled blisters) called "hot tub rash" isn't enough to dissuade you, maybe the following information will help:

  • Another common bacteria found in the warm waters of hot tubs is Legionella, which causes the potentially fatal lung condition known as Legionnaires' disease. The bacteria is carried up from the steam or mist of an infected tub -- meaning you don't even have to get in a tub to get sick.
  • Any hot tub you share with others is almost guaranteed to contain fecal matter swept off the skin of the participants. No matter how close you are to your friends, you probably don't care to share quite that much.
  • Even a properly disinfected hot tub is often no match for the personal beauty care products that most people wear. Lotions, creams, sunscreen and more all affect the disinfectant's ability to properly function.
  • It takes a tremendous amount of chlorine to shock the bacteria into submission -- if you're dipping your body into that chlorine, you may be damaging your skin. Even then, the chlorine may not kill a couple types of parasites that are capable of causing diarrhea for weeks at a time.
  • Staph infections are common as a result of hot tub use. Any small open wound, even a paper cut, can be the entry point for an antibiotic-resistant infection.

If none of these things dissuade you from using a hotel hot tub, at least do it in the safest way possible. Reserve a room with a private hot tub, rather than using the one available to all the guests, and inspect it carefully. If there's a foul odor or the tub doesn't seem clean, ask for another room. Make sure that the filtration process was fully run and the tub was treated since the last guest left.

Anyone who ends up with a disease or infection due to a dirty hot tub at a hotel should seek immediate legal advice. Hazardous conditions on the premises may make the hotel liable for your losses.

Source: Reader's Digest, "8 Reasons Your Relaxing Hot Tub Is Actually Pretty Gross," Marissa Laliberte, accessed Aug. 02, 2017

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