Trichomycosis axillaris

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Trichomycosis axillaris
Classification and external resources
An armpit with variably encrusted hairs
ICD-10 A48.8, L08.8 (ILDS L08.88)
ICD-9 039.0
DiseasesDB 32451
eMedicine derm/601

Trichomycosis axillaris is a superficial bacterial colonization of the hair shafts in sweat gland–bearing areas, such as the armpits and the pubic area. It is a trivial disease of worldwide occurrence that is believed to be caused by the genus Corynebacteria (mostly Corynebacterium tenuis).[1]


It is characterised by yellow, orange, black or red granular nodules, coatings, concretions that stick to the hair shaft. Usually the condition is symptomless and all that is noticed are sweaty, smelly armpits. Hair shafts may also swell appearing more noticeable after bathing. It results from corynebacterial overgrowth on hair shafts in moist regions of the body and predominantly affects axillary hair (under arms), and to a lesser extent, pubic hair (trichomycosis pubis). It is caused by several species of the gram-positive diphtheroid Corynebacterium, not by a fungus as the name may imply.


The fastest method of treatment is to shave the affected hair. Daily cleansing with soap and water and application of benzoyl peroxide (wash or gel formulations) cures the infection. Regular use of antiperspirants aids in prevention by reducing axillary hyperhidrosis (i.e. it staying moist). Topical antibiotic preparations such as erythromycin or clindamycin is occasionally required to eliminate the infection. "Drying" powders may assist treatment.


Measures of prevention for trichomycosis include limiting exposure to stray cats, as well as regular inspections of pets for infection. In animals, fungal infection manifests itself in the form of patches of alopecia on the face, ears, and paws. In the event of a pet fungus you should immediately contact your veterinary clinic. The vet should tell you about the necessary methods for disinfecting your house and they will also be able to prescribe the necessary treatment for your animals.[2]

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  1. ^ Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. p. 1089. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0. 
  2. ^