Intertrigo is a nonspecific inflammatory lesion of the skin folds. It is most common in obese peoples and during hot weather. It is most commonly aggravated by moisture, perspiration, heat, friction, and lack of air circulation. Intertrigo is worsened by infection with yeast like Candida albican, bacterial, fungal and viral also plays role in infection.
Intertrigo uaually affects inner thighs, armpits, and underside of the breasts and belly and sometimes behind the ears, and the web spaces between the toes and fingers. The appearance of intertrigo is dependent on the area of skin involved. They are usually raw-looking, sometimes itchy, macerated and red rash with scaling on the edges with foul smelling odor.
Intertrigo can occur in any skin folds that rub together and trap moisture. We see diaper rash in infants is also an intertrigo.
Intertrigo usually appear:
In the crease of your neck
On the underside of the breasts or belly
In the armpit
In the groin and at the scrotum
Between the buttocks
Between toes and fingers
Prevention and Treatment of Intertrigo
Environment changes to promote drying and prevent skin to skin friction are essential steps in preventing further infection. So correcting the causative factors is critical in management. Take these steps in correcting and management of Intertrigo :
- Your living and working area should be kept dry. Air conditioners, absorbent powders and fan would help.
- The clothes you wear should be light, nonconstricting and adsorbent. Avoid wool, nylon and synthetic clothes. Bras for female and underwear for male should be light.
- You should wash, rinse and dry the areas atleast twice daily. Mild antibactrial or low PH ( PH 5.5-7 ) cleanser can be used. Absorbent powders can be used to make it dry.
- Oily ointments or cosmetics might more harm than good so it should be avoided. If there is much incontinence, lotions, spray and powder creams may be used.
- Weight loss in incouraged to reduce the size of fat folds.
- Applying cooling water, burow solution, dilute vinegar, or wet tea bags often are effective.
- Initially some mild topical OTC (over the counter) corticosteroids might be used, but prolonged therapy with corticosteroids is not recommended as it might lead to skin atrophy.
- For itching, soothing lotions like calamine can be used.
- For relief of rash,burns and superficial wounds, Zinc oxide, cod liver oil, and talc can be used.
- Antifungal preparation like clotrimazole and miconazole creams are helpful. For better results combination with mild steroid is recommended.