Pseudomonas Folliculitis Treatment & Management

Updated: Oct 02, 2020
  • Author: Charles B Toner, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medical Care

P aeruginosa is usually a self-limited infection, clearing in 2-10 days. Despite the discomfort caused by the Pseudomonas folliculitis rash, no treatment is necessary. Systemic spread is typically not observed. P aeruginosa is resistant to nearly all common topical and oral antibiotics, and no indication exists that the course of the skin condition is altered with treatment.

Symptomatic relief of Pseudomonas folliculitis may be achieved through the use of acetic acid 5% compresses for 20 minutes twice a day to 4 times a day.

In Pseudomonas folliculitis patients with associated mastitis, in those with persistent infections, or in those who are immunosuppressed, a course of ciprofloxacin (500 or 750 mg PO bid) is advised.



Proper maintenance and chlorination of pools, hot tubs, whirlpools, and spas are essential to decrease the population of Pseudomonas species. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a free chlorine concentration of 1-3 mg/L and a pH of 7.2-7.8. [32] However, P aeruginosa has been recovered from adequately chlorinated water containing 2 mg/L of free chlorine. Bromine is considered an acceptable alternative to chlorine and is considered more effective in hot water, with a longer period of activation.

Complete drying of sponges between uses is essential because P aeruginosa does not survive drying.

Showering after exposure to contaminated water does not seem to prevent Pseudomonas folliculitis.