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Brief Report
June 2, 1978

Pseudomonas Folliculitis Acquired From a Health Spa Whirlpool

Author Affiliations


From the Dermatology Service, Department of Medicine (Drs Sausker, Aeling, and Fitzpatrick), Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver, and the Disease Control Service, Department of Health and Hospitals (Dr Judson), Denver.

JAMA. 1978;239(22):2362-2365. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280490046021

Three cases of an unusual Pseudomonas skin infection acquired from a health spa whirlpool were reported, and an epidemiologic survey showed 17 additional cases. This dermatosis is characterized by the abrupt onset of urticarial papules and superficial and deep papulopustules that spare only the head and neck and occur eight to 48 hours after using the whirlpool. Cultures from one patient's pustules and from the spa whirlpool environment were positive for P aeruginosa, serotype 0-11. The condition cleared in all but one patient, without treatment, within seven to ten days. This patient continues to have recurrent follicular pustules three months after exposure. Samples from whirlpools at six other selected establishments were also positive for P aeruginosa.

(JAMA 239:2362-2365, 1978)