Intertrigo is a rash that occurs mainly in the body folds, such as the armpits, neck, under the breasts, groin, buttocks, abdominal folds, and spaces between the finger or toe webs.
The skin is inflamed, bright red, moist and wrinkled. There can be skin cracks, bleeding, and crusting in severe cases. The most common symptoms are itching, burning and pain. There are several differences when comparing to other rashes that can happen in the skin folds:
- Yeast infections will typically have satellite lesions along the border of the rash
- Fungal infections (tinea) will typically have a pronounced border that may also have scaling
Intertrigo is a rash that occurs as a result of constant friction when the two surfaces of a skin fold rub against each other. It is not considered an infection but it can have inflammation as a result of the constant friction. In some cases when a person sweats, the skin can become more "sticky" and lead to greater friction.
- Zinc oxide-based protective barrier creams can be used in the skin folds to lower irritation from friction.
- Sweating can be reduced with antiperspirants such as aluminum chloride, anti-fungal powder, or botulinum toxin injections.
- Bacterial overgrowth can be treated with topical or oral antibiotics.
- Fungi can be treated with topical or oral antifungal medications.
- Antimicrobial wash such as chlorhexidine and bleach bath can be used to decrease bacterial overgrowth.
- Skin inflammation can be treated with topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors.