Hot tub folliculitis or sometimes called Hot tub rash is a bacterial infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This infection is mainly found in contaminated hot tub, whirlpools, water slides, physiotherapy pools and even on loofah sponges. The youngsters are more prone to have this illness because they tend to stay in the water longer. The rash is not spread via direct contact with client's infected lesions.Hot tub Folliculitis has two etiologic agents. It can be bacterial or fungal. Symptoms are similar for both but the treatment plan differs: antibiotics for bacterial folliculitis and anti -fungal cream for fungal folliculitis.
Hot tub folliculitis or pseudomonas aeruginosa follicultis is a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. When Hair follicles come into direct contact with the causative agent under friction i.e sitting and rubbing against the side of a whirlpool or in a warm water, they present themselves up to infection.
Hot tubs made of wood usually harbor this microorganisms more because they are difficult to maintain and clean and are made up of material which gives a good environment for bacteria to multiply.
Swimming pools and other water facilities should be on their good condition especially maintain efficient levels of chlorine and acid as these bacteria tolerates low levels of this chemicals. With this, Hot tub folliculitis can be prevented.
Hot tub folliculitis can be manifested within hours to 2 days after exposure to the said bacteria. It appears to bumpy, reddish itchy rash but eventually will turn in to dark red, tender nodules and sometimes it is filled with pus. The rash can be found anywhere on the body but is thicker under swimwear areas where the microorganism is harbored for a longer period of time. Hot tub folliculitis usually resolves in 7 to 10 days leaving a darkened lesion that resolves over months. Fever is uncommon however, fatigue is experienced.
Doing Away with Hot Tub Folliculitis:
Traces of pseudomonas aeruginosa are also found in clean tubs and so, it is still best to limit time inside a hot tub.
Hot tub folliculitis can also be prevented by not wearing tight fitting swimsuits as contact and friction with a wet surface can trigger bacterial multiplication.
After swimming or getting out of the water, remove swimsuit and shower with soap.
Hot tub folliculitis is self limiting which means it heals naturally without any medical interventions however, applying vinegar compresses for 20 minutes each day, taking oral antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and applying silver sulfadiazine cream can be advised by your physician.
Non-emergent as it may sound; Hot tub folliculitis still poses a threat to our health.