Have you recently noticed some red bumps on your skin that weren’t there before? They may be from that night of having drinks while soaking in the hot tub at a friend’s house, or maybe from relaxing in the jacuzzi at the gym after a good swim a couple days ago. Hot tubs in public places, such as your local gym or even a residential community, may not always be the cleanest places when it comes to germs and bacteria. If you have developed a rash shortly after a soak in the hot tub, you could have a condition known as hot tub folliculitis.

What Exactly Is Hot Tub Folliculitis?

Hot tub folliculitis is caused by a certain strain of bacteria and typically occurs on the back and torso. It starts as small red or purple bumps and can spread to other parts of the body. Most people who develop this condition have been sitting in a hot tub for at least one to three hours, a few days before they get the bumps. It’s generally a good idea to wash your skin after getting out a hot tub, and only sit in hot tubs that you know have been treated for bacterial overgrowth.

Treatment Options for Hot Tub Folliculitis

If you are diagnosed with folliculitis, our dermatologist, Dr. Voss, may be able to treat the problem with a simple home therapy regimen that involves using an antibacterial wash and topical products. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to clear up the infection. Moderate cases of this condition can be treated with a topical antibiotic or a course of oral antibiotics. If you do end up developing some hyperpigmentation of the skin or any type skin infection, you can start using prescription-strength hydroquinone creams or gels that will help to lighten the skin.

Preventing Hot Tub Folliculitis

The best way to prevent folliculitis is to avoid unsanitary hot tubs, pools, and other areas where bacteria may grow. Keeping your skin moist and healthy can also ward off certain skin conditions. Most cases are treatable and curable, and early detection and treatment is key to maintaining good skin health.

We diagnose a variety of skin conditions at our Kirkland dermatology office and can provide treatment for hot tub folliculitis to clear up the infection. For more information about hot tub folliculitis treatment options, schedule a consultation with Kirkland dermatologist Dr. Julie Voss at Northwest Face & Body today!