Usually found in folds of skin, intertrigo often appears as a rash on the inner thighs, armpits, stomach and underside of the breasts. Intertrigo is caused by a yeast or bacterial infection and may ooze, itch or hurt. Usually, intertrigo develops because the skin chafes together, especially in those who are overweight, diabetic or confined to bed. Heat, moisture and friction can exacerbate the infection.
If you suspect intertrigo, look for:
- An intensely red rash with distinct edges
- Blisters or scaling
- Foul odor
- Oozing or itching from the rash
Depending on whether the intertrigo is bacterial or fungal in nature, your physician will prescribe a topical antifungal, topical antibiotic or oral antibiotic. Certain medicated powders can also help this condition.
Because intertrigo relapses are common, take these precautions to prevent re-infection:
- Avoid warm, humid areas like hot tubs or saunas
- Keep the area dry, clean and exposed to air whenever possible
- Place a soft, absorbent cotton pad in the area to collect sweat
- Consider slimming down if you are overweight or obese
- Wear light-weight, breathable clothing