Can I Go in a Hot Tub with Herpes Outbreak?


Hey there! If you’re wondering whether it’s okay to hop in a hot tub when you have a herpes outbreak, you’re not alone.


Lots of people have questions about how to manage herpes and enjoy things like hot tubs safely.

Can I Go in a Hot Tub with Herpes Outbreak?

Can I Go in a Hot Tub with Herpes Outbreak


In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know.


We’ll cover what herpes and herpes outbreaks are, if hot tubs are safe, and give you some helpful tips.

Let’s get started!

What is Herpes?

First off, let’s talk about what herpes is. Herpes is a super common virus that lots of people have.

There are two main types:

  • HSV-1 usually causes cold sores around the mouth.
  • HSV-2 is the main cause of genital herpes.

The herpes virus spreads easily from skin-to-skin contact, especially during sexual activity. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body forever.

It can go into “hiding” and then pop up again later, causing an outbreak.

Many people with herpes don’t have any symptoms at all.

But when symptoms do show up, they can include:

  • Painful sores or blisters on the mouth or genitals.
  • Itching or burning feelings.
  • Flu-like symptoms like fever or body aches.

There’s no cure for herpes, but there are medicines that can help control outbreaks and make them happen less often.

Using condoms also lowers the chance of spreading herpes to a partner, but it’s still possible to pass it on even with a condom.

What is a Herpes Outbreak?

A herpes outbreak is when the virus becomes active and causes symptoms. During an outbreak, you might notice:

  • Small blisters or sores on the skin that are filled with fluid.
  • Itchiness or burning in the area with sores.
  • Pain and discomfort around the sores.
  • Swollen glands near the outbreak.
  • Fever or feeling sick, like when you have the flu.

Outbreaks can be set off by different things, like:

  • Feeling stressed out.
  • Getting sick with another illness.
  • Spending too much time in the sun.
  • Changes in hormones (like during your period).
  • Irritating or injuring the skin where you get outbreaks.
  • Having sex.
  • Having a weak immune system.

The Effects of Hot Tubs on Herpes Outbreaks

Okay, so now let’s talk about hot tubs. Can they trigger an outbreak? It’s possible.

The heat and steam in a hot tub can sometimes weaken your immune system. A weaker immune system makes it easier for the herpes virus to wake up and cause an outbreak.

The warm, wet environment in a hot tub can also irritate your skin. Irritated skin is more likely to have a herpes outbreak.

Another thing to think about is the chemicals used to keep hot tubs clean, like chlorine. These can also bug your skin and might make an outbreak more likely.


Safety Tips for Hot Tubbing with Herpes

So does this mean you can never hot tub again if you have herpes? Not necessarily! But there are some things to keep in mind to stay safe and avoid triggering an outbreak:

  • Try to avoid hot tubs when you’re having an outbreak. The heat and steam can make the sores feel worse and take longer to heal.
  • If you do decide to hot tub with herpes, take steps to avoid spreading it to others:
    • Keep any sores covered with a waterproof bandage.
    • Skip sexual activity in the hot tub.
    • Consider wearing a swim cap and keeping any cuts or scrapes covered.

Can You Get Herpes From a Hot Tub?

You may be wondering, “If someone with herpes uses a hot tub, can I catch it from the water?” Great question.

The good news is, it’s very, very unlikely that you’d get herpes from a hot tub.

Herpes spreads through direct contact with herpes sores or the fluids from the sores. It doesn’t live long on surfaces.


The heat and chemicals in a hot tub make it hard for the virus to survive in the water.

However, there are some other things you can catch from an unclean hot tub, like skin infections.

To lower the risk:

  • Make sure the hot tub is cleaned regularly with the right chemicals. You shouldn’t smell a strong chemical odor.
  • Shower with soap before you get in the tub.
  • Don’t hot tub if you have any open cuts or sores.
  • Skip it if you’re feeling sick.
  • If it’s a public hot tub, check for inspection reports to make sure it’s kept clean.

FAQs on Hot Tubs and Herpes Outbreaks:

Let’s go over some frequently asked questions about using hot tubs when you have herpes:

  • Q: Can herpes spread through hot tub water?

A: No, herpes doesn’t spread through water. It spreads through direct contact with herpes sores.

  • Q: Will a hot tub make my herpes worse?

A: It might. The heat and humidity can irritate herpes sores and make outbreaks more painful. It’s best to avoid hot tubs during active outbreaks.

  • Q: What other illnesses can I get from a hot tub?

A: If a hot tub isn’t cleaned well, there’s a chance of getting infections like:

  • Hot tub folliculitis (a skin infection from bacteria).
  • Legionnaires’ disease (a type of lung infection).
  • Illnesses from waterborne parasites like Crypto and Giardia.

To lower your risk, make sure the hot tub is properly maintained, shower before getting in, and don’t go in with open cuts or if you’re sick.

  • Q: What should I avoid doing during a herpes outbreak?

A: During an outbreak, it’s important to:

  • Not have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal)
  • Do not kiss anyone if you have a cold sore
  • Use condoms after the sores heal
  • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, toothbrushes, or lip balms
  • Q: How long does it take for a herpes outbreak to heal?

A: Most of the time, the sores crust over and start to heal within about 4 days of an outbreak starting. It can take between 2 to 4 weeks for the sores to fully heal after the first infection. Later outbreaks may heal a bit faster.

  • Q: How can I prevent or manage herpes outbreaks?

A: If you get a lot of outbreaks, taking daily antiviral medication can help suppress the virus and make outbreaks happen less often. For the most part, though, people with herpes don’t have outbreaks super frequently.

Also Check: How Long to Wait to Shave After Herpes Outbreak



Alright, let’s sum it all up! Herpes is a common virus that can cause outbreaks of sores on the mouth or genitals.

If you have herpes, you may be wondering if it’s safe to use hot tubs. While it’s not likely you’d spread herpes to others through a hot tub, the heat and chemicals can irritate outbreak sores and possibly trigger outbreaks.

If you do decide to hot tub with herpes, avoid doing it during an active outbreak. Keep any sores or blisters covered, and skip sexual activity.

With the right precautions, you can still enjoy a nice soak even with herpes.


Remember, lots of people have herpes. While it’s not curable, it’s possible to manage the virus and still live your life to the fullest.

Hopefully, this article gave you some helpful info and answered your questions about hot tub safety with herpes.

Just remember to be mindful, take care of yourself, and don’t let herpes stop you from relaxing in the bubbles now and then!

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