Intertrigo is skin inflammation or rash that develops in the folds of the skin and can affect individuals of all ages from infant to adult.

Intertrigo Causes

This common rash occurs in warm, moist areas where there is limited air flow. Intertrigo usually develops in skin folds where two skin surfaces rub together including:

  • Inner thighs
  • Groin
  • Underneath heavy breasts
  • Armpits
  • Between the Buttocks
  • Creases on the neck or stomach

Intertrigo may be worse in incontinent individuals since urine and feces can gather in the skin folds. Sweat and poor hygiene may also contribute to the problem.

Bacteria, fungi and yeasts thrive in the warm moist environments so secondary infection is common.

Symptoms of Intertrigo

Intertrigo presents as a reddish-brown rash, and the skin appears raw and may ooze or crust. Sometimes a foul odor develops and the rash may be uncomfortable or itchy.

Treatment of Intertrigo

It is important to keep the affected area clean and dry and allow it to be exposed to air. Your dermatologist may suggest using a mild astringent in skin folds to speed the drying process.

To reduce discomfort or to treat infections associated with intertrigo, the following medications may be prescribed:

  • Steroidal creams
  • Oral or topical antibiotics
  • Antifungal medications

Prevention of Intertrigo

Since intertrigo often develops in skin folds, it is important to keep these areas clean and dry. Other steps to prevent the development of intertrigo include:

  • Daily shower
  • Removing wet clothes and diapers as soon as possible
  • Wearing a sturdy support bra
  • Choose fabrics made of natural fibers and avoid tight or clingy clothing
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