Pseudomonas folliculitis is an infection of the skin that appears in the form of a rash on the skin often caused from the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This germ is microscopic to the naked eye but is present in many water and salt environments such as a Jacuzzi or hot tubs.
Many people suffer from this rash when using these types of equipment in spas, gyms and hotels. The water usually isn’t hot enough to kill bacteria making it a breeding ground for the microbes to multiply faster.
This rash is spread from the skin when there is direct contact with contaminated water. Pools on the other hand are treated with chlorine and various disinfectants that break down the microbes. Most Jacuzzi or hot tubs are treated with bromine and if the PH levels are controlled properly it prevents the spread of infection.
When a person is exposed to this infection all skin is in danger of these germs. In fact skin that is under a swimsuit actually can be worse than skin that is exposed. The material of a swimsuit absorbs the contaminated water and it sits on the skin the longest making it easier for the rash to develop faster in those areas than skin that was exposed and dried off with a towel after leaving the water.
The rash on the skin is red and bumpy. It may be itchy and cause the skin to be quite tender. Sometimes around the hair follicles the rash can develop into pus-filled blisters that can be painful.
There have been some cases of pneumonia known as Legionnaire’s disease that people have been infected with from the dirty water in a Jacuzzi. This happened in 2011 at the Playboy Mansion where over 100 people were reported to have been infected from the Pseudomonas folliculitis infection. The Jacuzzi and hot tub rash is more prominent in vessels that are made of wood.
Usually this form of rash will clear up on its own within a few days. Every person reacts differently and if the rash doesn’t clear up quickly seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Keep your hot tub clean and ask what when one was tested last before you step into one while away on a trip!
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