Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Hot tub folliculitis

 

Hot tub folliculitis is an infection of the skin around the lower part of the hair shaft (hair follicles). It occurs when you come into contact with certain bacteria that live in warm and wet areas.

Causes

Hot tub folliculitis is caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that survives in hot tubs, especially tubs made of wood.

Symptoms

 

The first symptom of hot tub folliculitis is an itchy, bumpy, and red rash. Symptoms can appear from several hours to 2 days after contact with the bacteria.

The rash may:

  • Turn into dark red tender nodules
  • Have bumps that fill with pus
  • Look like acne
  • Be thicker under swimsuit areas where the water was in contact with the skin for longer

Other people who used the hot tub may have the same rash.

 

Exams and Tests

 

Your health care provider can often make this diagnosis based on looking at the rash and knowing that you have been in a hot tub. Testing is usually not needed.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment may not be needed. The mild form of the disease often clears on its own. Anti-itch medicines may be used to ease discomfort.

In severe cases, your provider may prescribe an antibiotic.

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

This condition usually clears without scarring. The problem may come back if you use the hot tub again before it has been cleaned.

 

Possible Complications

 

In rare cases, a collection of pus (abscess) may form.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of hot tub folliculitis.

 

Prevention

 

Controlling the acid levels and chlorine content of the hot tub may help prevent the problem.

 

 

References

D'Agata E. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other Pseudomonas species. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 221.

Lacuesta MPM, Phelps RG. Folliculitis. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014:chap 83.

 
  • Hair follicle anatomy

    Hair follicle anatomy - illustration

    At the base of the hair follicle are sensory nerve fibers that wrap around each hair bulb. Bending the hair stimulates the nerve endings allowing a person to feel that the hair has been moved. One of the main functions of hair is to act as a sensitive touch receptor. Sebaceous glands are also associated with each hair follicle that produce an oily secretion to help condition the hair and surrounding skin.

    Hair follicle anatomy

    illustration

    • Hair follicle anatomy

      Hair follicle anatomy - illustration

      At the base of the hair follicle are sensory nerve fibers that wrap around each hair bulb. Bending the hair stimulates the nerve endings allowing a person to feel that the hair has been moved. One of the main functions of hair is to act as a sensitive touch receptor. Sebaceous glands are also associated with each hair follicle that produce an oily secretion to help condition the hair and surrounding skin.

      Hair follicle anatomy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

           

          Review Date: 10/24/2016

          Reviewed By: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

           
           
           

           

           

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



          Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.