How to avoid spa pool folliculitis (pseudomonas folliculitis)

An explanation of the causes of spa pool folliculitis and how to prevent it in your spa pool

How to avoid spa pool folliculitis hero

In this article we’ll explain how to avoid this issue in your spa pool and how you can treat your spa if you do experience this issue.

We cover answers to these questions:

What is spa pool folliculitis? (pseudomonas folliculitis)

Spa folliculitis is a skin infection of the hair follicles that appears after coming into contact with bacteria contaminated water. The infection is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa which lives in wet, warm areas including Spas, whirlpools, and waterslides.

Is spa pool folliculits contagious?

If an individual does contract folliculitis, it is not transferable from person to person, only from bacteria in the water itself. If you suspect you have an issue with bacteria in your spa water, you should avoid using your spa until you have resolved the issue.

How do I get rid of spa pool folliculitis?

The symptoms should begin to reduce naturally after 7-10 days. If there is no reduction in symptoms or discomfort after this period of time, you should consult a doctor who can prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the infection. Ensure you take the full course of antibiotics prescribed. To relieve discomfort use a warm water compress.

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How do I clean my spa pool with folliculitis?

If you suspect you have this issue in your spa water, you should use a shock dose of sanitiser (25g - 30g sanitiser per 1000L of water) or a dedicated spa shock product to kill the bacteria. If your water is coming up to around 3 months since you last changed it, now would be a good time to empty your spa water and thoroughly clean your spa.

Before emptying your spa, use a pipe cleaner to remove any biofilm that may have formed in your spa’s plumbing and componentry

Read our detailed article on how to clean and empty your spa.

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What causes spa folliculitis?

Folliculitis is an infection that can be transferred into your hair follicles after soaking in spa water that contains the bacteria pseudomonas folliculitis. In some cases shaving or waxing your skin shortly before entering the spa can remove the protective barrier that your skin has and can make it easier to contract folliculitis.

This bacteria can occur when your water has not been sanitised frequently enough with chlorine sanitiser or other sanitisers like hydrogen peroxide.

Bacteria thrives in warm damp environments like spa pools, which is why it is so important to sanitise your spa water every day with the correct dosage.

Consult the label on your approved spa sanitiser for the appropriate dosage of sanitiser for your size spa.

How to prevent spa pool folliculitis

Prevent spa pool folliculitis from occuring in the first place by ensuring you are sanitising your spa sufficiently. The recommended daily dose of chlorine sanitiser is 6-10grams per 1000L of water at the time of writing this article.*

If you’re using hydrogen peroxide, the recommended dosage is 200ml per 1000L.

*Dosage recommendations are guidelines only. Check the manufacturer’s label on your sanitiser for the correct dosage.

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You can also take the following measures to reduce the likelihood of having an issue with folliculitis

  • Avoid shaving or waxing skin before using the spa pool to reduce the chances of contracting folliculitis.
  • Don’t sit around in a wet swimsuit after the spa - shower and wash off thoroughly with soap and fresh water, then dry thoroughly in the sun or with a clean towel.
  • Rinse your swimsuit with fresh water after being in the spa
spa pool folliculitis

What does spa pool folliculitis look like?

Spa pool folliculitis appears as red bumps or hives on the skin - where hair follicles are present. In some cases white pustules can also appear. The bumps can be itchy or painful.

Spa folliculitis often appears on areas of the body that have been covered by a swimsuit, such as the torso and upper leg.

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What bacteria causes spa pool folliculitis?

The most common bacteria that cause spa pool follicultis are Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In some cases, a less common bacteria, Aeromonas hydrophila can also be the culprit.

Got more questions?

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