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Hot Tub Folliculitis (Pseudomonas Folliculitis)


Definition

Hot tub folliculitis is also known as Spa pool folliculitis or pseudomonas folliculitis. It is an infection of the hair follicles that results from exposure to certain bacteria that live in warm, wet areas. It is a relatively recently recognized, community-acquired skin infection, which results from the bacterial colonization of hair follicles after exposure to contained, contaminated water for example whirlpools, swimming pools, water slides, bathtubs etc. First reported in 1975 in association with whirlpool contamination, the skin infection is caused by strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that are acquired secondary to skin contamination. The result is an eruption of scattered small red itchy or tender bumps, some of which are postural. They mainly occur in areas that were covered by the swimming costume. Rarely, some people with hot tub folliculitis feel unwell. They may have earache, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, headache or mild fever.

Causes

  1. Hot tub folliculitis is caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas survives in hot tubs, especially hot tubs made of wood, unless the water's acid and chlorine levels are strictly controlled.
  2. Pseudomonas is present throughout the world in soil, water, and on the skin of animals and people.
  3. Pseudomonas also causes pus inside the bumps.

Symptoms

  1. You are likely to develop a number of red, round and itchy bumps when affected by pseudomonas bacteria.
  2. The bumps later may develop into small pus filled blisters or postules.
  3. Sometimes the bump may develop into dark red tender nodules.
  4. Multiple members of family or party with same rash and same hot tub exposure may get infected by this disease.
  5. The pseudomonas bacteria that cause this form of folliculitis thrive in a wide range of environments, including wooden hot tubs whose chlorine and pH levels aren't well regulated.
  6. The rash is likely to be worse in areas where your swimsuit holds.
  7. Paeruginosa is common in patients with diabetes who are immunocompromised.
  8. These are equally likely in both males and females. Cases of hot tub folliculitis have been observed in young males who use IV drugs.

Treatment

  1. Hot tub folliculitis rarely requires treatment, although your doctor may prescribe an oral or topical medication.
  2. Vinegar compresses applied for 20 minutes two to four times a day will make a lot of reduction in bumps.
  3. Silver sulfadiazine cream can also be used. It is to be applied two times a day.
  4. Oral antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin are only needed in widespread or resistant cases.
  5. In patients with associated mastitis, in those with persistent infections, or in those who are immunosuppressed, a course of ciprofloxacin is advised.
  6. Fusidic acid is an antimicrobial that was isolated by Godtfredsen can also be used to cure hot tub folliculitis.
  7. In severe cases, your health care provider may prescribe an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin.
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