HomeDerma CareWhat Is Trichomycosis? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What Is Trichomycosis? – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Trichomycosis is a skin and hair bacterial infection. Because it has no evident symptoms and does not cause discomfort, this condition frequently remains untreated.

The most common place for this skin problem to start is in the armpit. However, it can manifest itself in any body area where hair develops, such as the scalp or the genitals.

The nomenclature for trichomycosis varies depending on the location infected by the bacteria. Trichomycosis axillaries, for example, affect the underarms, whereas trichomycosis pubis affects the pubic hair.

It is likely that the infection can be smelled before being seen. The patient might itch or feel uneasy in the afflicted area as well.

Trichomycosis does not pose a significant health risk. However, the patient should take actions to address it to avoid any negative consequences or long-term discomfort.

What are the causes of trichomycosis?

When bacteria proliferate and multiply in a region, it causes trichomycosis. Once germs have attached themselves to hair shafts, they bear, resulting in an infection.

Bacteria  grow in moist parts of the body, such as the:

  • Groin 
  • Space between the buttocks 
  • Armpits

Trichomycosis is not communicable in most cases. However, in close and packed circumstances, such as among sports team members, the infection can spread from person to person.

The illness can sometimes spread to more than one part of the body at the same time. Trichomycosis can affect everyone, although it is mostly frequent in warm, humid climates around the world.

Excessive underarm sweat, not shaving the area, and poor hygiene are all risk factors that can exacerbate the infection.

Trichomycosis appears to strike men more frequently than women, though this could be due to women’s proclivity for shaving their armpits.

What are the symptoms of trichomycosis?

Some people have no symptoms, and doctors may only discover the infection after a thorough examination.

The unmistakable yellow, red, or black nodules that cling to the hair shaft may be noticed by others. Changes in the texture of the underarm hair may also be seen.

Other signs and symptoms of trichomycosis include:

  • Perspiration that smells bad 
  • Excessive sweat in the affected area
  • Sweat stains on clothes that are dark 
  • Hair loss in the afflicted area

These signs indicate that the patient should consult a doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis. The infection has no long-term consequences, but early treatment may make it easier to treat.

Complications of trichomycosis

Trichomycosis is frequently associated with erythrasma and pitted keratolysis, both of which can exacerbate discomfort in the affected areas. ‌

  • Erythrasma

Erythrasma is a skin disorder that is widespread in humid regions and is associated with poor hygiene, obesity, and excessive sweating. Although the infection has nothing to do with hair, it is frequently discovered in skin folds where trichomycosis occurs, such as the armpit and inner thigh. 

  • Pitted keratolysis

Pitted keratolysis is a type of skin infection that frequently goes unnoticed. In locations where the condition has settled, little indentations, or “pits” emerge, and the patient may experience itching or soreness. Extreme sweating paired with tight-fitting clothing, such as wearing tight socks when running, can cause it. Typically, pitted keratolysis is a superficial bacterial skin infection typically of the soles of the feet characterised by whitish skin with clusters of punched-out pits and resulting in smelly feet.

What are the risk factors of trichomycosis?

People of various ages, races, and genders are affected by this bacterial infection. On the other hand, women are less prone to have trichomycosis because they shave underarms.

Other risk factors for trichomycosis include:

  • Humidity
  • Excessive underarm sweating
  • Crowded settings
  • Poor cleanliness
  • Obesity

When should a patient consult a doctor for trichomycosis?

Trichomycosis symptoms should be reported to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Other illnesses can present similar symptoms; therefore, each case requires a thorough diagnosis.

Early therapy may make it easier to get rid of the infection.

How is trichomycosis diagnosed?

To diagnose the disease, the doctor will perform a physical examination. They’ll examine the hair and nodules on the hair shaft during the examination.

Wood’s lamp examination and microscopy are also used to distinguish trichomycosis from lice.

Wood’s lamp exam

A handheld Wood’s light may be used by the doctor to check the affected area. A black light is used in this lamp to reveal germs in a distinct hue. This method can aid in the diagnosis of trichomycosis by distinguishing between different bacterial infections.


A microscopic examination is a method that involves using a microscope to examine samples of tissue or other substances. The physician will examine the area for foreign bacteria, yeast, and other abnormalities.

What are the treatments options for trichomycosis?

Trichomycosis spreads quickly, therefore treatment might be challenging. Bacteria infects hair follicles, resulting in infection. The bacteria adhere to the surface of developing hair follicles, producing a tight bond that is impossible to break with just water or ordinary cleansers.

The bacteria produce nodules that stick to the hair shaft with strong adhesive material, making them difficult to remove.

Shaving damaged hairs and the surrounding area to remove as much bacteria as possible is usually the first step in treatment.


Doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics after diagnosing trichomycosis. Clindamycin or erythromycin lotion may be prescribed by the doctor. For up to two weeks, patients are advised to use these lotions twice a day to the affected area.

Benzoyl peroxide gel or lotion may also be given to the patient. 

If topical antibiotics are ineffective, the doctor may prescribe an oral erythromycin tablet. These should be used daily for up to two weeks.

If the symptoms do not improve, the doctor would suggest additional tests and treatment options.


Following proper  hygiene practices is an important aspect of trichomycosis treatment and prevention. Proper cleanliness may aid in the removal of undesirable microorganisms and the prevention of their recurrence.

The following are examples of good hygiene practices:

  • Every day, wash the affected area with soap and water
  • Wear light and breathable garments to allow air to circulate in the region
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight or synthetic, and could trap moisture in the area
  • To keep the region dry and prevent moisture buildup, use talc-free powder, such as baby powder
  • After showering or swimming, carefully dry the body

Doctors may also advise people who sweat a lot to use an antiperspirant deodorant to keep the perspiration from getting into their underarms.

How can you prevent trichomycosis?

In most cases, trichomycosis can be prevented if proper hygiene is maintained and underarms are kept clean and dry. Using antiperspirant regularly and properly drying moist areas (such as underarms) is highly effective in removing excess moisture and keeping the bacteria at bay. Antibacterial soap can also aid in the removal of bacteria.

Trichomycosis is a skin illness that affects the armpits and other moist parts of the body. Bacteria attach themselves to the hair shaft, resulting in yellowish nodules that can also be red or black. Keeping the region clean and dry with good hygiene practices may help avoid recurrent infections.

Verified By Apollo Dermatologist
The content is carefully chosen and thoughtfully organized and verified by our panel expert dermatologists who have years of experience in their field. We aim to spread awareness to all those individuals who are curious and would like to know more about their skin and beauty
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