All You Need to Know About Hot Tub Folliculitis

Hot tub folliculitis

Hot tub folliculitis is the inflammation of the hair follicle; it is caused by the bacterium pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterial organism is found in hot tubs, water slides, swimming pools, and other similar watery sites. Kids are more prone to getting this medical condition because they stay in the water longer than the adults.

If you are fond of soaking in indoor hot tubs or outdoor wooden hot tubs for long periods of time, then you must know about hot tub folliculitis in order to avoid it.

When the skin’s hair follicles gets soaked in warm water or they come into direct contact with pseudomonas aeruginosa because of friction, either by rubbing against or sitting against the side of the tub or the pool, the hair follicles open themselves up to bacterial infection.

Wooden hot tubs are the most susceptible to the infestation of pseudomonas aeruginosa because wood is much more difficult to clean. The organic material provides a much friendly environment to the bacteria.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can survive low levels of chlorine; acidic conditions do not kill it. It is not a weak organism, and it must be taken seriously. In fact, it is the same bacterium used to clean up oil spills since it can break down the corrosive substances in oil. Pseudomonas aeruginosa breaks down the oil components. So, imagine what it can do to your skin. Don’t worry though since it is relatively harmless as long as it stays on your skin.

Hot tub folliculitis manifests on the skin in the form of reddish rashes; it looks like chicken pox. If it worsens, it looks like pimples. The rashes are very itchy and painful.

If the rashes are left on their own and are not scratched, they will just go away. But if they are touched or aggravated, they spread and last for months. The rashes will then become quite difficult to treat.

Leave the rashes alone, and they disappear after around seven to ten days. If they persist longer than seven to ten days, then a physician needs to be consulted. Any case of hot tub folliculitis that is not treated promptly and properly worsens and develops abscesses.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is only present in poorly maintained or dirty pools and hot tubs. Hot tub folliculitis is entirely preventable if regular maintenance is performed on the tub or the pool. Thus, don’t skip cleaning your tub or your pool to prevent this.