Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What Is Trichomycosis Axillaris?

Trichomycosis Axillaris is the name given to a superficial bacterial infection found in the hair follicles under the armpits or the axillary region. The main characteristic of Trichomycosis Axillaris is the presence of yellow, black or red colored nodules which are stuck to the hair shaft in this area. This infection not only affects the armpits, but can also affect the pubic hairs or scrotal hairs.

The bacterium responsible for the development of Trichomycosis Axillaris is Corynebacterium. This bacterium thrives in the moist area of the body such as the armpits which usually gets moist due to constant rubbing with movements of the hands resulting in perspiration. The area of the armpits will have a foul odor as a result of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

What Is Trichomycosis Axillaris?

What Causes Trichomycosis Axillaris?

As stated, Trichomycosis Axillaris is a bacterial infection and the bacterium responsible for the development of this condition is Corynebacterium and Serratia marcescens. These bacteria are packed tightly on to the hair shaft. These bacteria thrive in moist conditions like the underarms and at times the pubic hairs. They also cause a foul odor to come from the area of the underarm region as a result of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

Majority of the cases of Trichomycosis Axillaris occur in tropical and temperate climates and occur in males more than in females. The reason why males have this condition more than females is because most of the females shave the hairs under their arms and thus, there is no friendly environment provided to the bacteria that causes Trichomycosis Axillaris.

Some of the contributing factors for Trichomycosis Axillaris are

The above mentioned factors play a vital role in the development of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

What Are The Symptoms Of Trichomycosis Axillaris?

In most of the cases, Trichomycosis Axillaris is asymptomatic but some of the symptoms that do appear include:

  • Excessive sweat from the armpits with a foul odor.
  • Yellow, red, or black solid mass encompassing the hair shaft making the hair look much thicker than it actually is.
  • The sweat from the underarms may also be discolored with mainly a yellow discoloration, which may stain the clothing.
  • At times there is also loss of hair.

How Is Trichomycosis Axillaris Diagnosed?

The characteristic feature of the condition is a virtual give way when it comes to diagnosing Trichomycosis Axillaris. Additionally to confirm the diagnosis, the physician may do a wood lamp examination which will show a yellow-colored fluorescence and a gram stain which will confirm the presence of the offending bacteria confirming the diagnosis of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

How Is Trichomycosis Axillaris Treated?

The best way to get rid of Trichomycosis Axillaris is to cut off the hairs to which the small mass of bacteria is attached to or shave the entire underarm. Topical antibacterial agents can also be used like clindamycin for treatment of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

Clotrimazole powder is also quite effective in treatment of Trichomycosis Axillaris. Other than this, since it is a benign condition there is not much treatment available for treating a condition like Trichomycosis Axillaris.

How Can Trichomycosis Axillaris Be Prevented?

The best way to keep Trichomycosis Axillaris at bay is by keeping the underarms clean and dry and not provide environment that is friendly for the bacteria to thrive on. Frequent use of antiperspirants is of great help in keeping the underarms dry and clean. Antiseptics can also be used when washing the area to make sure that there is no recurrence of Trichomycosis Axillaris.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 15, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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