Have you ever left a hot tub feeling itchy, or noticed red patches of skin on yourself? 

This is likely caused by hot tub folliculitis. 

Hot tub folliculitis or “hot tub rash” is a skin irritation caused by bacteria growth in a hot tub. When hot tubs are not maintained properly you run the risk of bacteria growing and entering the hair follicles on your skin, resulting in this irritating infection. 

What is hot tub folliculitis?

Hot tub folliculitis is a rash transmitted after soaking in water contaminated by pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that grows in warm water. This is the bacteria that inflames and irritates your hair follicles and causes that bumpy and irritating red rash known as hot tub folliculitis. At their worst, these symptoms can turn into respiratory issues and fever. 

What causes it?

This is caused by poor hot tub maintenance and the build-up of bacteria, fungi, and yeast in a hot tub. Keeping the chemicals balanced and tested regularly will give you a clear picture of what is needed to balance the PH levels in your hot tub. 

Regular maintenance and cleaning is also highly recommended keeping bacteria at bay. 

What are the symptoms?

The irritation shows up as red, itchy and sometimes pus-filled bumps that look like chickenpox. They can be very itchy and very irritating, surfacing up to 5 days after you have soaked. 

The irritation itself can last up to 5-10 days and will usually go away on its own. If the symptoms become overwhelming, soothing lotions can be used to stop the itching and irritation. 

Is it contagious?

Since the only way to get the rash is by spending time soaking in warm water, this means that the rash is not contagious and can not be passed to people around you. 

How can you avoid hot tub folliculitis?

The best way to avoid a hot tub rash is to clean your hot tub regularly. If the water becomes contaminated immediately stop using it, drain and clean your tub. 

Keeping your tub clean, well maintained and sanitary is the best way to ensure that you and your friends and family can enjoy it to the fullest!