Medically the evaluation by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — created by Beth Sissons on march 18, 2019

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You are watching: Can you get an infection from a hot tub

Hot tub folliculitis, or pseudomonas folliculitis, is a skin epidemic that outcomes from bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The infection is commonly the an outcome of making use of poorly maintained hot tubs.

In this article, learn around the causes and symptoms the hot tub folliculitis, as well as what that looks like and how come treat it.

Share top top PinterestP. Aeruginosa is a bacteria the can prosper in warm tubs.
Hot bath tub folliculitis occurs when a person gets a P. Aeruginosa infection.

The P. Aeruginosa bacteria main point in hot temperatures and also thrive in the type of water conditions found in poorly maintained hot tubs. The bacteria can still endure in chlorinated water.

It can additionally grow in various other warm, wet locations such as:

contaminated poolslakes and also riverswater slideswhirlpools

Other research mirrors that nylon bathtub poufs or towels have the right to harbor bacteria and also cause pseudomonas folliculitis.

These bacteria enter hair follicles, resulting in itchy, red or purple bumps on the skin.

Hot tub folliculitis will often clear increase without any treatment within a couple of days. The epidemic is typically harmless in otherwise healthy and balanced people.

In this article, learn much more about the symptom of hot bath tub folliculitis, too as around treatment and prevention.


The key symptom of hot tub folliculitis is a decision of itchy bumps on the skin. The rash may be red, purple, or inflamed, and the skin may feel tender.

These bumps can appear anywhere on the body yet usually occur about the abdomen or any kind of area spanned by swimwear. This is because the swimwear keeps the infected water in call with the skin for longer.

The bumps look similar to acne and may save on computer pus. World may also feel ill and experience exhaustion or a high temperature.

A hot bathtub folliculitis rash and also other symptoms deserve to develop between 12–48 hrs after making use of a warm tub.


A physician will be able to diagnose hot bathtub folliculitis by examining the skin and asking a person around their medical background and any kind of recent use of warm tubs or similar.

Hot bathtub folliculitis can look similar to other skin conditions, including:

acneother species of folliculitisother varieties of bacter infection, such as a staph infectionchemical rashes

To prevent a misdiagnosis, a doctor might take a sample the the skin v a swab. They will certainly send this sample come a activities for check under a microscope. A experienced in the lab can confirm whether the problem is hot bathtub folliculitis or an additional condition.


Hot tub folliculitis will often clear up by itself in ~ 5–10 days. If the decision lasts much longer than this, or world are experiencing various other symptoms, that is ideal to speak come a doctor.

People should additionally see their physician if they have actually an existing condition that affects their immune system, or if they have actually cystic fibrosis. The bacteria P. Aeruginosa can reason pneumonia in human being who have cystic fibrosis.

A doctor may prescribe a object medication, such together silver sulfadiazine cream, to treat hot tub folliculitis. World can use this double a day, or together instructed by your doctor.

The American Osteopathic college of Dermatology introduce that human being can apply white vinegar come treat hot bath tub folliculitis. Civilization can use white vinegar to the infected area for 20 minute at a time, repeating in between two to 4 times a day.

When using a object medication, people should apply the solution in the same direction as any type of hair growth. People should additionally leave the area uncovered from any kind of bandages or dressings. This can aid to reduce folliculitis.

People should additionally avoid cut or scratching the area whereby the folliculitis rash is, as this can irritate the skin.

If topical medicine does not treat hot bathtub folliculitis effectively, a doctor might prescribe dental antibiotics.

People can apply a heat compress come the rash, which deserve to soothe itchiness or pain and assist to clear the condition more quickly. The American Academy of dermatology advise making use of a heat compress for 15–20 minutes, three to 4 times a day, or as numerous times together a human needs to relax pain.

Once the rash has cleared, it may leave hyperpigmented marks on the skin. These might be red come brown and may take it a few months come disappear.


People can take actions to avoid hot tub folliculitis, together as:

removing swimwear shortly after acquiring out the hot bath tub and putting it in the washshowering with hot water and also soap directly after utilizing a hot tubmaking certain swimwear is totally dry prior to wearing it againchecking the a public hot bathtub operator is servicing the hot bath tub at the very least twice a day

People need to take extra care or avoid hot tub use if castle have:

areas of broken skin or open wounds that space prone to infectiona problem that affects your immune systemcystic fibrosis

If civilization are making use of their own warm tub, they have the right to keep it clean and safe by:

using check strips to inspect pH and disinfectant levelsreplacing the hot bath tub water regularlythoroughly cleaning and also scrub all components of the pool regularlyfollowing hand-operated instructions for replacing the water filter

People can purchase hot bath tub test strips online or from hardware and pool it is provided stores.

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The Centers for condition Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the adhering to levels for warm tubs:

Free chlorine: 2–4 components per million (ppm)Bromine: 4–6ppmpH: 7.2–7.8

To prevent getting hot bath tub folliculitis from bath sponges, soak lock in a gallon that water v ¾ cup that chlorine bleach because that at least 5 minute to kill any kind of bacteria. Remove them and also rinse castle thoroughly prior to use.