Jacuzzi Hot tub rash // Jakuzzi - whirlpool bathtubs and hot tub spas

What Is Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Jacuzzi Hot tub rash

Spa pool folliculitis is also known as "hot tub folliculitis" or "pseudomonas folliculitis". It is a skin condition that arises within hours to a few days after bathing in warm water, eg in a spa pool, jacuzzi or swimming pool. It may affect several individuals within 8 hours to 5 days of exposure. However, some exposed individuals do not develop the infection.

A similar rash may occur from wearing a wet suit that has not been thoroughly washed and dried after previous use. Pseudomonas folliculitis has also been reported in an industrial plant with a closed-loop water recycling system.

What are the symptoms of spa pool folliculitis?

Spa pool folliculitis is an eruption of scattered small red itchy or tender bumps, some of which are pustular. They mainly occur in areas that were covered by the swimming costume.

Some people with spa pool folliculitis feel unwell. They may have earache, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, headache and/or mild fever.

What is the cause of the folliculitis?

Spa pool folliculitis is due to an opportunistic bacterial infection of the skin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This can survive in warm water, even when adequately chlorinated, because of a biofilm on the tub surface or within the piping system. Contamination is more common if the water is inadequately treated or organic material, such as skin, is present.

Concern has been expressed that the strains of bacteria that have survived chlorination may be multidrug resistant.

How is the diagnosis of spa pool folliculitis made?

The diagnosis of spa pool folliculitis is made clinically by observing a typical eruption of papules and pustules on the trunk of a person who has bathed in a hot water tub within the previous few days.

is isolated from swabs from the pustules. Antibiotic sensitivities should be reported, as there are various isolates. Many of these are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

What is the treatment of spa pool folliculitis?

P. aeruginosa does not survive long on healthy normal skin, so spa pool folliculitis usually settles by itself within a few days.

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