Trichomycosis Palmellina

By | June 10, 2022

Trichomycosis palmellina is a generally harmless bacterial infection and skin disease that affects the armpit and, more rarely, the pubic hair. Men are affected more often than women.

What is Trichomycosis palmellina?

The term Trichomycosis palmellina is actually misleading, as the disease is a bacterial infection. The name has therefore been adjusted in the meantime and the term Trichobacteriosis palmellina is also common. The skin disease is characterized by thin, hard-to-remove coatings on the pubic hair, which can be traced back to an increased colonization of saprophytic bacteria, mostly Corynebacterium tenue, around the hair shaft. For medulloblastoma basics, please visit

Saprophytic means that the bacteria do not carry out any photo- or chemosynthesis and only feed on dead, organic substances – in this case sweat or skin cells. The pathogens belong to the genus Corynebacterium, a microorganism that occurs in the normal skin flora and, if present in a balanced ratio, is not pathogenic.


Under certain conditions, there is a likelihood that the bacteria will multiply rapidly and thereby cause the clinical picture described. Favorable factors for Trichomycosis palmellina are, for example, poor hygiene or abnormal excessive sweat production . Associated with this is a latent moist heat in the armpits or in the pubic area with the simultaneous occurrence of pubic hair. The bacteria, which multiplies quickly in this environment, can hold onto the shaft of these pubic hairs and thus form whole colonies.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Since the disease often has a mild course, a high proportion of patients do not even notice the infection. However, during routine examinations such as skin cancer early detection or the annual gynecological check-up, the symptoms are then noticed by the trained medical eye. In addition to typical coatings on the pubic hair, which can be whitish to yellow, red or even black in color.

Especially in the armpit area, there is an above-average smell of sweat. A particularly large number of sweat glands are located here. The intense smell arises because the high number of corynebacteria decompose the sweat to a greater extent and also release the degradation products, above all fatty acids and ammonia, to a greater extent than normal. As is well known, these smell even during normal production, but then unpleasantly strong with increased degradation.

Axial trichobacteriosis, which is due to increased sweat production in those affected, often occurs together with other infections. In areas of the groin and armpit where there is no pubic hair, the bacterium can turn areas of skin into sharply demarcated, brownish-red patches that can easily flake and itch. The Corynebacterium can also occur in a completely different place.

Its decomposition products can also cause small punctiform defects on the hard skin on the soles of the feet. Here, too, ideal propagation conditions can prevail in a warm, humid climate due to sweaty feet and constricting shoes. The clinical picture known as keratoma sulcatum is particularly widespread among people who wear sneakers. The bad odor here is caused by sulfur compounds as a decomposition product of the bacteria.

Diagnosis & course of disease

Diagnosis is based on the symptoms described above. In addition, the pathogens can be detected microscopically or bacteriologically. Under the so-called Wood lamp, which works with black or UV light, orange or red fluorescence can be observed, which is caused by the pigment changes in the skin due to the bacterial infestation. Incidentally, these pigments of the corynebacteria are also found in underwear.


In most cases, trichomycosis palmellina is harmless and heals without major symptoms. Serious complications can occur if the infectious disease is treated improperly or not at all. This can lead to unpleasant skin irritations, which increase in intensity and duration as the disease progresses. The typical itching quickly develops into pain, which has a negative impact on well-being.

The skin usually flakes and the affected person scratches – bleeding and infections occur. Regular scratching can lead to the formation of scars. Trichomycosis palmellina also causes a foul odor, which those affected find extremely unpleasant. Especially in the case of long-lasting illnesses, the development of odors represents a strong burden, which occasionally also leads to psychological problems.

In rare cases, the bacterial infection can develop into a superinfection. Then there is the risk of larger abscesses and the spread of inflammation to other parts of the body and, in the worst case, even to the internal organs. Denervation treatment can sometimes lead to adhesions in the area of ​​the sweat glands.

When should you go to the doctor?

In the case of trichomycosis palmellina, the person affected is dependent on medical examination and treatment in any case, so that further complications or a further deterioration of the symptoms can be prevented. The earlier the disease is recognized and treated by a doctor, the better the further course is, since Trichomycosis palmellina cannot heal on its own. For this reason, a doctor should be contacted as soon as the first symptoms or symptoms of the disease appear.

The doctor should be consulted if the person concerned suffers from various skin problems. Severe itching and severe reddening of the skin can occur. In most cases, increased sweating can also indicate this disease. The skin is covered with small spots. Trichomycosis palmellina is usually treated by a dermatologist. It cannot be universally predicted whether this will lead to a reduced life expectancy. The further course depends heavily on the time of diagnosis.

Treatment & Therapy

If hyperhidrosis, i.e. excessive local sweating, is the cause, shaving the affected area and using a deodorant with aluminum chloride hexahydrate often helps. A general improvement in personal hygiene, i.e. daily washing or showering, is recommended. As acidic syndets as possible should be used.

These are cleaning agents with a slightly acidic or neutral pH value. This protects the skin’s natural protective acid mantle and forms a natural barrier against the proliferation of bacteria. The syndets are widely available commercially as washing or shower gels. On the other hand, greasy creams and ointments should be avoided and the affected areas of the skin should generally be kept as dry as possible.

In particularly stubborn cases, the affected skin areas are treated with an antiseptum. These disinfecting sprays or ointments usually destroy the pathogens quickly and safely and have a broad spectrum of activity. If the person affected has pronounced hyperhidrosis, which may also affect everyday life, there are a number of treatment options that can be used depending on the severity.

For example, chemical denervation is common, i.e. inhibition of the sweat glands by injections with Botox. A lasting improvement is also possible through surgical forms of therapy, such as suctioning off the sweat glands from particularly affected skin regions.


You can protect yourself against an infection with Trichomycosis palmellina with simple means. The behaviors mentioned under the previous point, i.e. regular washing or showering followed by thorough drying, act as preventive measures. Shaving the armpits and genital area prevents bacteria from settling.

It is also advisable to use underwear made of natural fiber textiles and to change them frequently. In the armpit area, a deodorant is particularly effective against excessive sweating if it contains aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Generally good personal hygiene and regular skin care therefore go a long way towards avoiding such skin diseases.


Since the bacteria that trigger Trichomycosis palmellina also occur naturally on the skin, aftercare after treatment of Trichomycosis palmellina consists of avoiding renewed incorrect or excessive colonization of the skin with these bacteria. For this purpose, the hair on formerly affected skin areas should be removed regularly. In addition, a high level of skin hygiene should be maintained.

Ideally, a skin-cleansing and disinfecting, artificially produced soap is used for this purpose. Regular hand and skin disinfection can also help to prevent the recurrence of trichomycosis palmellina, but is not absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, regular disinfection of the hands is recommended once trichomycosis palmellina has been present, as this can prevent infection with other bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) that can cause skin diseases.

Hands should be thoroughly disinfected, especially after visiting public toilets. In addition, regular check-ups at the dermatologist can help to detect a new infection of the skin at an early stage. If trichomycosis palmellina keeps coming back despite maintaining good personal hygiene, permanent hair removal using a laser may be necessary. This is especially true for people with excessive body hair. The benefits and risks of such a removal should be discussed in detail with the attending physician.

You can do that yourself

The most important measure is to completely shave the affected areas of skin. This removes most of the causative bacteria. In addition, the armpits and the pubic region should be washed daily with acidic syndets to deprive remaining pathogens of their livelihood. In addition, disinfecting gels and skin sprays can help fight the infection. They should only be used for a short time so as not to impair the skin’s natural barrier function.

The affected regions must be kept dry, since warm moisture promotes bacterial growth. Breathable clothing made from natural fibers is therefore recommended. Linen should be changed daily. In the case of excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis), it helps to apply antiperspirants containing the active ingredient aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Antiperspirants are available in pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription.

Home remedies such as sage tea also reduce sweating. Talc-free body powder also keeps the skin dry. The decomposition products of the corynebacteria produce a rancid smell of sweat. Commercial deodorants reduce this. In addition to fragrances, they often contain germ-inhibiting substances such as phenoxyethanol. Fatty creams and ointments are counterproductive and should be avoided.

These measures should completely heal the symptoms. If this does not happen, it is imperative that you see a doctor. This is also necessary in the case of atypical symptoms such as severe itching, pain or redness, which may indicate a different or additional infection.

Trichomycosis Palmellina