Hot tub rash is the common name given to an infection called pseudomonas folliculitis. This is a bacterial infestation that occurs in a person’s hair follicles. People tend to catch it while bathing because the bacteria can contaminate water, and it is especially common in warmer water. Hot tub rash looks like a collection of small red sores and it’s usually very itchy. Sometimes it will clear up without treatment, and in other cases, antibiotics and other more stringent measures are needed.
When hot tub rash first develops, people usually have some inflammation and itching. After a few days, small sores develop and the itching often worsens. The sores tend to be in patches, and sometimes these will spread slightly and show up in several different areas. For some people, symptoms can be more severe, and they may actually suffer a mild fever and some fatigue in the beginning.
A bacterium called pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common cause of hot tub rash. This kind of bacteria is also found in nature, and it actually lives on the surface of human skin in many cases. This is how it gets into water that people use for bathing. Over time, a large accumulation of the bacteria can potentially form in a bathing area, and then multiple people who use the same bathing spot may become infected.
People often use additives like chlorine in their water to avoid these kinds of infections, but these chemicals do not survive as long in warmer water. This is why hot tub rash is more commonly caught in places like bathtubs and hot tubs, rather than pools or natural bodies of water. The bacterium that causes hot tub rash is able to survive higher levels of chlorine than many other bacteria types, and this generally makes it harder for people to deal with through water treatment methods.
In most cases, people don’t actually have to do anything to make hot tub rash go away. The human body is usually able to fight off the bacterium that causes the illness on its own. Sometimes people will also use certain home remedies to help hurry things along, including using vinegar compresses. If the disease lingers, doctors may choose to prescribe oral antibiotics.
According to most experts, the best way to deal with hot tub rash is to prevent it. This generally involves keeping any bathing areas as clean as possible. Chemical additives can also often be a part of the prevention, as well as basic filtration of any water that is used for a lengthy period.