What is Hot Tub Folliculitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Complications, Prevention, Diagnosis

What Is Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Hot Tub Folliculitis is a pathological condition of the hair follicles caused due to bacteria infection usually from the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium thrives in warm water, which has not been properly chlorinated or has been stagnant in pools, tubs or Jacuzzis. Hot Tub Folliculitis is not an uncommon condition and affects many people. The bacterium is able to survive in water, as it gives it a warm environment and is usually not chlorinated. Hot Tub Folliculitis may also be caused when enjoying at a water park and playing in water slides and pools, which may not be properly chlorinated and give an ideal atmosphere for the bacterium to thrive and cause Hot Tub Folliculitis.

What Is Hot Tub Folliculitis?

What Causes Hot Tub Folliculitis?

As stated, Hot Tub Folliculitis is mainly caused by bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and hence, it is also known by the name of Pseudomonas Folliculitis. The main source for this bacterium are water parks, bath tubs, Jacuzzis where the water is not chlorinated properly and is warm in temperature providing an ideal environment for the bacteria to thrive. These bacteria may also be found in the drainage systems of the swimming pools where water is not chlorinated and temperature is quite warm, but here they are mush less in numbers. Sharing bath tub water is yet another cause for Hot Tub Folliculitis. The presence of human skin cells increases the chance of the bacteria thriving in such water. Until the pool is thoroughly cleaned and chlorinated the bacteria may remain there for prolonged periods of time and remain a potential source of causing Hot Tub Folliculitis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hot Tub Folliculitis?

The symptoms of Hot Tub Folliculitis start to appear with a week of exposure to the offending bacteria with red bumps that appear on the skin, which may later develop on to blisters filled with pus. The rashes will be worse in the areas where the clothes are in constant touch with the skin. Hence these rashes are rarely seen in the face or the neck region which are normally exposed to the water. Apart from the blisters, there may also be pain in the ears, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, nausea, vomiting, low grade fever, or pain in the lymph nodes. These rashes may persist from days to weeks depending on the immune system of the individual.

How Is Hot Tub Folliculitis Diagnosed?

To diagnose Hot Tub Folliculitis, a detailed history of the patient will be taken by the physician. If there is a history of being in a swimming pool or a bath tub just before the eruption of a rash may virtually confirm the diagnosis of Hot Tub Folliculitis. Further, a physical examination of the rash will be done and the nature of the rash with pus filled in between confirms the diagnosis of Hot Tub Folliculitis. In cases, if the physician still has some doubts then a skin scraping of the rash may be taken or a swab for analysis to confirm the diagnosis of Hot Tub Folliculitis.

How To Treat Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Mild cases of Hot Tub Folliculitis do not require any treatment and the rashes resolved within a couple of weeks. Antibiotics are not required for Hot Tub Folliculitis, as the infection is superficial and does not affect the inner layers of the skin or the tissues. Antimicrobial creams may sometimes be prescribed for speedy healing of the blisters and help prevent spread of the infection.

What Are The Complications Of Hot Tub Folliculitis?

There are no complications noted with Hot Tub Folliculitis, although there may be chances of complication if the immune system of the individual is weak and the individual has recurrent infections or in cases where there are open wounds through which the bacteria may have infiltrated into the body of the individual. Even after the rashes caused due to Hot Tub Folliculitis resolves there will be a dark area at the site of the blisters for a few months. If there is an open wound and the individual scratches, then it may allow the bacteria to enter the body system and cause some serious complication down the line.

How To Prevent Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Hot Tub Folliculitis is a preventable disease and the following measures can help in preventing Hot Tub Folliculitis:

  • Adequate chlorination of swimming pools, water parks, and Jacuzzis.
  • Changing water in the swimming pool on a regular basis.
  • Completely emptying the bath tub after use and using fresh water to bath.
  • After using a bath tub try and shower using an antibacteria soap so as to prevent Hot Tub Folliculitis.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2018

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