What Puts You at Risk for Hot Tub Folliculitis?

I want to bring into the conversation, dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio, because in medicine, we know about something called hot tub folliculitis and certainly, you usually don’t see cases that progress to something this extreme but how often do you deal with hot tub folliculitis? Well, you know, Travis, unfortunately hot tub folliculitis is fairly common but it is very rate that it becomes this severe and as we know, Pseudomonas is the bacteria that most commonly causes hot tub folliculitis because it is fairly resistant to chlorine and thrives in that moist environment. But what people don’t know is that when you shave your legs, even when you don’t actually cut it, you are creating tiny little nicks, microtrauma, and that allows the bacteria to enter your skin very easily and then it can cause these infections. But again, Taylor’s case is very rare and you can see this more in hot tubs where it’s not properly maintained or wooden hot tubs. So I want to ask you, do you recommend that people wait a certain number of days if they’ve shaved their legs, for instance, before they get into a random hot tub or what’s the best defense? So, again, this is not a typical case but as doctor’s we think about, I’m gonna go to Vegas, I’m still gonna go in a hot tub, right, but you know, I wouldn’t recommend it right before you go in. Give it at least 24, 48 hours to allow the epidermis to heal but waxing, not just shaving, does injure the skin and the hair follicles, even when you look at it and you see it looks normal. In hindsight, do you feel like the water was murky? Did it smell funny? Were there any indications that this may not be a properly sanitized hot tub? No, I didn’t notice anything. Every time we got down there that I remember, everyone already had the jets on but the first thing as I think as going into a public place with a pool and a hot tub is, you smell the chlorine. So I was like, that’s pretty strong, so it’s gotta be clean. But that’s not the case. Tess, as you alluded to, there’s a reason why we’re sharing Taylor’s story, because this result is very rare, fortunately, and quite honestly, this could happen also from a bug bite, a mosquito bite, any open wound anywhere in the body can progress to these sometimes very scary, aggressive infections. Taylor, the smart thing that you did, is you were on top of it and you went to the doctor and you ended up needing more than just an oral antibiotic but, from what we’ve heard, you are recovering. Is that fair to say? It is fair. I am clear of the infection, I do. I just had my monthly check up. (audience applauds) Well, we’re so thankful you’re doing better. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Best of luck. Thank you so much. (audience applauds) And, Dr. Mauricio, it’s gonna take a while for that skin to come back. That’s gonna stay hyperpigmented. I mean, she said, it sounds like she may have some hypertrophy of the scar itself. Yes, and it’s important for her to really protect it from sun exposure, keep it moisturized and she can try a fading cream, once the skin is totally intact, but you know, be careful with irritation and go to a dermatologist. And as you know, Dr. Worden, there’s a lot of things that can be done for scars nowadays. And do not go into an open pool of water, whether it be a hot tub or a pool, if you have an open wound, and in this case, I like your advice on if you’ve just recently shaved, maybe give it some time before you’re hopping into a public pool or hot tub. You never know, you never know. She dodged a bullet there. She could have lost that leg. That is true. Dr. Mauricio, thank you so much for weighing in.


  1. First! Also, this is SCARY. Like… you go into the hot tub wanting to have fun and enjoy not knowing that while that fun sinks in, germs are entering your SKIN. Like. Noooo.

  2. Lol as much as I want to follow their advice to wait 48 hours after shaving, my hair would already be completely grown back in 😂

  3. I dont swim in a pool because its literally not safe. Pee everywhere🤮 Just imagine yourself dive in a poolsful of pee🤔🤮

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