What is Intertrigo?
Intertrigo is a skin condition that occurs when skin rubs against skin, causing friction, inflammation, and sometimes infection. It usually affects the areas where the skin folds, such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts, or between the toes. It can cause a red or reddish-brown rash with small bumps or spots, itching, burning, stinging, or pain in the affected areas. Intertrigo is not contagious, but it can be worsened by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that grow in the warm and moist environment of the skin folds. Intertrigo can be treated with topical or oral medications, barrier ointments, drying solutions, and lifestyle changes.
What are the causes of Intertrigo?
Some of the causes of intertrigo are:
- Moisture and heat in the skin folds, which create an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.
- Sweat, urine, feces, or saliva, which can irritate the skin and increase the risk of infection.
- Obesity, diabetes, or poor hygiene, which can make the skin folds more prone to intertrigo.
- Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, which can weaken the immune system and make the skin more sensitive.
- Other skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, or seborrheic dermatitis, which can increase the inflammation and itching in the skin folds.
What are the signs and symptoms of Intertrigo?
Intertrigo is a skin condition that occurs when skin rubs against skin, causing friction, inflammation, and sometimes infection. Some of the signs and symptoms of intertrigo are:
- A red or reddish-brown rash with small bumps or spots in the areas where the skin folds, such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts, or between the toes.
- Itching, burning, stinging, or pain in the affected areas.
- The rash may be symmetrical (appearing on both sides of the skin fold) or asymmetrical (appearing on one side only).
- The rash may be wet and soft (macerated) or dry and scaly.
- The rash may have plaques (raised, scaly lesions), papules (small bumps), or pustules (pimple-like bumps) if there is a fungal or bacterial infection.
How to Help Prevent Intertrigo
Here are some ways to help prevent intertrigo:
Keep skin folds clean and dry: Wipe away sweat and other bodily fluids regularly and use a clean, dry cloth to dry the affected area thoroughly.
Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothing can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, so it’s important to wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing.
Avoid synthetic fibers: Synthetic fibers trap heat and moisture, so opt for natural fibers such as cotton when choosing clothing.
Use antifungal powder: Dusting antifungal powder in skin folds can help prevent the growth of yeast and other fungi.
Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can create more skin folds and increase the risk of intertrigo.
Keep skin folds aired out: Allowing skin folds to air out regularly can help prevent intertrigo by reducing moisture levels.
Avoid skin-on-skin contact: Avoiding skin-on-skin contact in skin folds can help prevent friction and reduce the risk of intertrigo.
Practice good hygiene: Regularly bathing and using soap to clean skin folds can help reduce bacteria and fungus levels.
Remember, if you experience symptoms of intertrigo, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent complications.
FAQ About Intertrigo
Who is at risk of developing intertrigo?
Individuals who are overweight, have skin folds due to obesity, or suffer from excessive sweating are at a higher risk of developing intertrigo.
How is intertrigo diagnosed?
Intertrigo is diagnosed through a physical examination of the affected skin folds.
What are the complications of intertrigo?
Complications of intertrigo include bacterial or fungal infections, which can cause a worsening of symptoms.
Is intertrigo contagious?
Intertrigo is not contagious, but it can be spread to other skin folds if not properly treated.
Can intertrigo be cured permanently?
While intertrigo can be managed and treated, it may not be cured permanently in some individuals who are prone to skin irritation in skin folds.
Is there a dermatologist near me in Providence that offers treatment for intertrigo?
Yes. At our Providence dermatology office we offer treatment for intertrigo to patients from Providence and the surrounding area. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.