So you are enjoying some R&R on your summer vacay, basking in the hot tub at your rental condo when BAM! little itchy bumps all over your back! EEK! What gives? You have become the victim of bacteria that love to live in the pipes of your relaxation machine. Don’t think about this too long or you will never get into a hot tub again. I’m just here to tell you it can happen, and reassure you that you will survive.
The bacteria cause a localized infection in your hair follicles, causing a folliculitis. Red bumps arise on hair bearing areas and can be itchy (but itching is not required). If you only have a localized reaction, you might not need any treatment at all. Your amazing body will cure you in a week or less. For more widespread of stubborn cases, topical or oral antibiotics might be required to get you bump free.
How do you prevent this rashy situation in the first place? Hot tubs are more susceptible to this bacteria because chlorine and other bacteria-killing chemicals get broken down faster in hot water. Make sure that the hot tub is getting regular maintenance to maintain the proper pH. Lakes or ponds can also harbor the little buggers, so I see people get the rash that way too. Change out of your suit and rinse off right after getting out of the water regardless of where you take a dip.