What is Armpit Trichomycosis?
Armpit Trichomycosis is a bacterial infection localized to the armpits. It is also known by the name of Trichomycosis Axillaris. The bacteria responsible for development of Armpit Trichomycosis are known as Corynebacteria. Armpit Trichomycosis is quite a common condition, but many individuals do not have that much knowledge about this condition and hence there is a delay in presentation to a physician and hence a delayed diagnosis and treatment. Armpit Trichomycosis is a benign condition and poses no risk to an individual in any form.
Armpit Trichomycosis is a relatively asymptomatic condition. At maximum, an individual may complain of a foul odor or smell from the armpit, which is quite a common problem and a lot of people have it and it may not even be caused due to Armpit Trichomycosis. The name of the condition may suggest that it is localized to the armpits, but in some cases this type of infection is seen in the pubic areas also. In such cases it is known as Trichomycosis Pubis. Since it is a benign condition, once diagnosed it is easy to get rid of Armpit Trichomycosis.
What Causes Armpit Trichomycosis?
Armpit Trichomycosis develops once an individual has attained puberty as it is then that the individual starts developing hairs on his or her armpits. Armpit Trichomycosis affects males more than females mostly because of the reason that majority of females tend to remove the hair on their armpits than males. The root cause for Armpit Trichomycosis is the bacteria Corynebacteria. This bacterium is present within the skin of the body and is usually harmless.
Normally, the number of bacteria causing this condition is controlled by the body, but in some instances there is an overgrowth of this bacteria resulting in Armpit Trichomycosis. Since the bacteria thrive in warm atmosphere, the armpit which is quite warm when compared to other areas of the body provides it an ideal location for growth. Armpit Trichomycosis is seen more with people who have a condition called hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.
This causes the armpits to sweat excessively resulting in overgrowth of the bacteria causing Armpit Trichomycosis. People who do not pay much attention to hygiene are also at risk for developing Armpit Trichomycosis. There are several species of Corynebacteria that is responsible for development of Armpit Trichomycosis but the species Corynebacterium Tenuis is the most common among all of them, which causes Armpit Trichomycosis.
What are the Symptoms of Armpit Trichomycosis?
In majority of the cases, Armpit Trichomycosis is relatively asymptomatic and causes no symptoms whatsoever and people may not even know that they have such a condition. It is a relatively benign condition and since the affected individual does not even know that he or she is having Armpit Trichomycosis diagnosis and treatment is never sought. Some of the symptoms that point to presence of Armpit Trichomycosis are:
- Smelly Armpits. This may be quite common with many other conditions, but this is also a symptom of Armpit Trichomycosis, although it may be due to other factors like hyperhidrosis or poor hygiene as well.
- Another common symptom of Armpit Trichomycosis is the development of mass like structures around the armpits. These structures are termed as concretions. These particles tend to vary in color and appear as small nodules.
- Hair Loss. Hair loss from the armpit region is yet another symptom of Armpit Trichomycosis. Sometimes what happens is that the bacteria overgrows and invades the hair shaft, which results in breaking of hair from the shaft resulting in hair loss but the loss of hair is not in clumps as seen with other conditions and is very less and scant.
- Skin Rash. In some cases of Armpit Trichomycosis, there may be presence of a skin rash as well, but this is very few and far between.
How is Armpit Trichomycosis Diagnosed?
In cases if an individual is suspecting that he or she has Armpit Trichomycosis, then a visit to a physician is recommended to definitively diagnose the condition and treat it accordingly. The best way to diagnose Armpit Trichomycosis is by a potassium hydroxide preparation, which can identify the presence of bacteria. If bacteria is found then a bacterial culture is required to identify the type of bacteria. This culture will confirm the presence of bacteria overgrowth, thus confirming the diagnosis of Armpit Trichomycosis.
How to Get Rid of Armpit Trichomycosis?
Since Armpit Trichomycosis is such a harmless condition that physicians usually do not recommend any treatment for it. The most they recommend is removing or shaving off the hair from the armpit, which suffices and gets rid of the smell and excessive perspiration and more or less curing Armpit Trichomycosis. This is in fact the best and the fastest way to treat Armpit Trichomycosis. Utilizing anti-perspiration agents are also quite effective as they reduce sweat production and thus reduce bacterial overgrowth. Physicians also recommend maintaining good personal hygiene, especially of the affected areas as a mode of treatment of Armpit Trichomycosis.
Treatments may be needed if there are frequent recurrences of Armpit Trichomycosis. This is usually when the affected individual does not want to shave off the hairs on the armpits. In such cases, treatment is done by utilization of Benzoyl Peroxide, which is quite effective for treatment of Armpit Trichomycosis and is available as a gel which can be applied to the affected area and then washed thoroughly. Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin can also be utilized effectively for treatment of Armpit Trichomycosis.