Hot tub folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles that occurs when you come into contact with certain bacteria that live in warm, wet areas.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hot tub folliculitis is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This form of bacteria survives in hot tubs, especially hot tubs made of wood, unless the water's acid and chlorine levels are strictly controlled.
Symptoms of hot tub folliculitis can be seen within several hours to 2 days after coming into contact with the bacteria.
Pasternack MS, Swartz MN. Cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and subcutaneous tissue infections. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 90.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.