The skin barrier is also weakened by the warmth and moisture, providing ideal conditions for the germ to penetrate. In addition, the disinfecting chlorine is broken down at water temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. As a result, an inadequately disinfected hot tub offers a particularly high risk of infection.
Hot tub folliculitis occurs more frequently in children than in adults. Moreover, prolonged bathing time increases the likelihood of infection. Since Pseudomonas aeruginosa can also be found in hot water boilers, in rare cases it is possible to get infected in your own bathtub.
Good to know: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a human-pathogenic rod bacterium of the genus Pseudomonas. Due to its extraordinary undemanding nature in terms of living conditions, the bacterium can survive for a long time in both damp and dry environments (only to a small extent). Aside from hot tubs, transmission can also take place through wash basins, bathing water, contaminated cosmetics, soft contact lenses, air humidifiers and other moist media. With around 10% of all hospital infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most common hospital germs in Germany. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause diseases such as pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, the skin, eyes, ears as well as neonatal infections.
What are the symptoms of hot tub folliculitis?
Whirlpool dermatitis occurs after an incubation time of eight to 72 hours after a bath in a bacterially contaminated hot tub. In some cases, longer incubation times of up to eight days were reported. The illness manifests itself as an itchy rash in the form of red spots, pustules and papules, especially on the lateral chest wall, as well as painful swelling of the mammary glands, a sore throat, earache or conjunctivitis. In some cases, general symptoms such as fever, nausea and lymphadenopathy can occur.
What preventive measures can be taken?
Hot tub folliculitis usually heals without any special treatment in one to two weeks. Therefore, there is no uniform therapy recommendation. Adequate chemical treatment of the water and careful water quality controls must take place to prevent disease relapse or infection. Automatic water filtration and checking the chlorine and disinfectant content is recommended. With increased visitor frequency, the water should be completely changed more often. In addition, a higher chlorine level of the water (> 5 ppm) for at least 72 hours is recommended, however, this rarely leads to the desired result since the biofilm that continuously builds up cannot be prevented or removed with the addition of disinfectant. This is where BrilliantPOOL helps.