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An inflammatory disease affecting the hair follicles, particularly of the beard, and characterized by papules, pustules, and tubercles, perforated by hairs, together with infiltration of the skin and crusting.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a chronic inflammation of the hair follicles caused by the penetration of staphylococci. Sycosis primarily affects men, especially those suffering from functional disorders of the nervous and endocrine systems or chronic-infection focuses (rhinitis, conjunctivitis). The predisposing factors to the disease’s development include such minor traumas as abrasions, scratches, and cuts.

Sycosis is generally localized on the skin around the beard and moustache; less frequently it affects the eyelids, eyebrows, scalp, armpits, and pubic region. Pustules, each having a hair in the center, blend in spots to form vivid patches. Sycosis tends to spread to adjoining skin areas. Dried pustules form greenish gray crusts that adhere to the hair; when the pustules are removed, a weeping, slightly hemorrhagic surface is visible. Subjective symptoms include sensations of tightness of the skin, slight burning, and itching.

Sycosis is treated with antibiotics, blood transfusion, analeptics, and such specific immunologic preparations as staphylococcal antiphagin, autovaccine, and polyvalent vaccine. Locally, disinfectant lotions and synthomycin emulsion are administered, and infected hair is removed. Sycosis is prevented by proper skin care and by the timely treatment of minor traumas, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.