Help! My Water is Irritating my Skin and Eyes

Causes | TreatmentsPrevention | Products

hot to fix spa water irritating skin and eyes


Hot tub water irritates the skin or eyes during use.

Common underlying issues:

Listed in order of likelihood to be the underlying issue.

  • Water is out of balance
  • Too many organic contaminants
  • Water is not circulating enough
  • Use of low quality chemicals

Note: This is any issue where you may want to consider seeing an actual Medical Physician depending on severity.

Steps to diagnose & treat the underlying issue:

  1. Check to make sure you don't have allergies.
    Some people are allergic to certain chemicals that may be used in water treatment. If this is your first time using the hot tub or you are the only one experiencing the issue, it might be allergies. Get a checkup to see if you have allergies or any other underlying issue with your own health.
  2. Test pH and Alkalinity levels using test strips.
    If water is balanced, skip to step 5. If water is not balanced, you must focus on fixing the Alkalinity levels first before trying to balance the pH levels.
  3. Ensure Alkalinity levels are balanced.
    • If Alkalinity is low - Use Alkalinity Increaser
    • If Alkalinity is high - There is no Alkalinity Decreaser. You must use pH Decreaser to reduce Alkalinity levels
  4. Ensure pH Levels are Balanced.
  5. Analyze and Balance Sanitizer Levels. 
    • Bromine tablets or granules should be at 4 to 6 ppm, use AquaDoc's Bromine Tablets to maintain optimum Bromine level
    • Bromine in-line or floaters should be between 1 to 2 ppm
    • Free Available Chlorine (FAC) should be between 3 to 5 ppm, use Chlorinating Granules to maintain FAC level
    • Saltwater sanitized spas require minimal balancing
  6. Remove organic micro contaminants.
    If the above options have not fixed the irritants in the water, it is likely that organic contaminants (body oils & lotions) are the source of the irritation. Luckily, AquaDoc has the perfect 1-2 punch for these contaminants.
    • Add 2oz of AquaDoc's Water Clarifier per 250 gallons of water. This will bind together microparticles that would be too small for the filter to catch. It makes them into a larger particle that will then get caught in the spa's filter.
    • Add 1oz of AquaDoc's Natural Enzyme per 250 gallons of water. This will help remove organic contaminants such as oils and cosmetics.
  7. Ensure spa water has enough circulation activity.
    Spa water should undergo 4 to 6 hours of circulation daily. If you have not circulated your water enough and the above issues are resolved, circulate your water for 6 hours daily for several days.


Preventing Spa Water Irritation

Responsible use and regular hot tub maintenance are the keys to preventing spa water from irritating the skin and eyes. Following the below recommendations are key to preventing irritants in your hot tub water.

Responsible hot tub usage:

  • Make sure you're not allergic to the hot tub chemicals
  • Shower before using the hot tub
  • Avoid wearing makeup, lotions, and oils. Ideally use your hot tub at night or position in a shaded area to avoid needing to use sunscreen.
  • Cover your hot tub when not in use

Responsible hot tub maintenance to avoid irritants in the water:

  • Regularly check and balance alkalinity and sanitizer levels
  • Circulate the water for 4 - 6 hours daily
  • Use high quality hot tub chemicals
  • Add 1oz Natural Enzyme per 250 gallons of water once a week
  • Add 2oz Spa Clarifier for every 250 gallons twice a week

Summary of Irritant Removal water treatment products

You can check out AquaDoc's Skin Irritation and Eye Irritation kits that help sanitize your water and reduce the risk of Skin and Eye Irritation respectively.