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Otters Oddities

Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

Frrp! Frrp! Frrp!

Most people take their armpits for granted. And, why not? It's not like they do anything special.


Well, they do play an important part in regulating body temperature. You probably noticed that when it's hot out, your pits sweat a lot. Some have it worse than others, but, everyone sweats out their pits.

It's also a major focal point for the condition known as 'oderus bodius'. Or, body odor. Or, stank. Or funk. You get the idea.


It's fairly standard in the modern world that men do nothing to their pits, while women shave them. There are a growing number of women who refuse to shave their pits, and that's fine, as long as they maintain proper hygiene. After all, these days, it's mostly an aesthetic thing for a woman to do.

In the past, like in ancient Egypt, women, (and sometimes men), shaved their pits to remove one more nesting spot for lice.


As women became ladies, they shaved to help prevent bodily odors. Stanky pits were so unlady-like.

But, these days, with proper care and the use of deodorants, the only real reason for women to shave is for the looks.


Personally, I couldn't care less what a woman does, hair wise. But I know some men who are repulsed by any hair on a woman except for the head. Some men are repulsed by pubic hair, too. (If a woman wants to shave her pubic area, fine. But it makes them look like jail-bait, or porn stars. I don't care why they do it, I'm just sayin....)

For men, hairy pits is a sign of manlyness. The more we have, the more testosterone we produce. Well, not really. But a lot of men feel that way. They also see chest hair that way. More chest hair = more manly of a man. Speaking as someone who has about 4 hairs on his chest, I see less chest hair as proof that I'm more evolved than those hairy gorillas who made fun of me in the showers after gym class.


But, the hair I'm talking about today is, specifically, armpit hair. Not really the hair, though. I want to tell you about Corynebacterium tenuis. (henceforth called CT)

CT is a bacteria. And it likes to infect your sweaty areas. Mostly the armpit. It results in a condition known as Trichomycosis axillaris. (TA from now on)


When CT infects a human and causes TA, it results in an infection of the armpit. More specifically, it results in a bacterial colonization of the hair, making your armpit hair look as if it has a fungus. It's a yellow/red/black coating on the hair that's fairly granular. It also makes you stink. A lot.

And, thankfully, that's about all it does. It's not a dangerous infection. Not at all.


If you get it, doctor will tell you to shave your pits and do a better job washing. Benzoyl peroxide is often recommended to clean the infection, and in rare cases, a topical anti-bacterial is used.

Your pubic area can also become infected. This is called Trichyomycosis pubis.

So, what are the odds you'll get it? The only study done was in the UK. It showed 42% of men had it, while 7% of women did. (most women shave their pits, remember?)


So, chances are fair;y good that you'll get it at some point in your life. But, unless you look for it, you may not even know you have it. You could end up washing yourself cured.

Bet you never though you could get an armpit hair infection, did you?

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