Skin irritation is a common problem in spas. People mistakenly believe that this problem is due to too much chlorine in the water, which is completely wrong. Also, some people say they are allergic to chlorine, because as soon as they come into contact with the spa water, they experience skin irritation and itching.
And yet, there is only one possible cause to this problem: a poorly adjusted pH of the water.
The first thing to know is that the skin has a pH of about 7.4. If the pH of the spa water is not the same as your skin, then you will feel irritation. The greater the difference between the pH of the water and your skin, the more irritation will be felt.
It is therefore necessary to address the problem by balancing the pH of the water, i.e.:
- By balancing the doses of chemicals added to the water;
- By adding tap water to dilute and lower the pH.
Each time a chemical is added to the spa water, the pH of the water can potentially change. It is a good idea to be aware of products that can drastically affect the pH of the water in order to use it properly.
Here are products that most unbalance the pH of the water in a spa or a pool:
- Adjustment products (pH+, pH-, Alkalinity, Hardness, etc.).
For example, let’s take a spa with a perfectly adjusted water pH between 7.2 and 7.8. A water analysis shows that the chlorine level is low (below 1 ppm). The customer is running on bromine. Bromine is a product that has a pH of 4.5. It is therefore normal that after the addition of bromine, the pH of the water decreases as the tablets dissolve, causing skin irritation. People are used to thinking that the problem is the amount of chlorine, when it is simply a question of pH.
After adding a chemical, you should wait a few hours, do a pH test and readjust if necessary before coming into contact with the treated water.
Look out! Just because the pH of the water is different from that of the skin does not mean that the skin will automatically be irritated. In fact, for most people, it’s almost imperceptible. For example, people with skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema or hives are likely to be more sensitive because their skin is raw in some places. Unfortunately, it is at such times that people believe they are allergic to chlorine.