|An armpit with variably encrusted hairs|
|Classification and external resources|
|ICD-10||A48.8, L08.8 (ILDS L08.88)|
Trichomycosis axillaris is a superficial bacterial colonization of the hair shafts in sweat gland–bearing areas, such as the armpits and the groin. It is a trivial disease of worldwide occurrence that is believed to be caused by the genus Corynebacteria (mostly Corynebacterium tenuis).
It is characterised by yellow, orange, black or red granular nodules, coatings, and 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 infection is diagnosed by close examination of the hair shafts where brown to yellow material called concretions are seen. There is usually an associated rancid odour. An microscopic examination can confirm the diagnosis, but this is rarely needed.
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. its staying moist). Topical antibiotic preparations such as erythromycin or clindamycin is occasionally required to eliminate the infection. "Drying" powders may assist treatment.
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