Intertrigo

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Intertrigo facts

  • Intertrigo is a dermatitis that only affects skin folds.
  • Intertrigo is caused when skin is irritated by friction, which is enhanced by moisture and heat.
  • Risk factors for intertrigo include obesity, heat, and humidity.
  • Intertrigo patients complain of redness, burning, and itching in the skin folds. Occasionally, long-standing intertrigo may produce a musty smell.
  • Intertrigo is diagnosed by visual inspection.
  • Treatment involves the reduction of frictional forces, humidity, and heat in the skin folds.
  • Intertrigo dermatitis can be infected by bacteria and fungi. Eruptions in the skin folds can occur in a number of other dermatological conditions aside from intertrigo.
  • Intertrigo can be prevented by losing weight and applying greasy topical ointments, which reduce friction prior to athletic endeavors.
  • The prognosis of intertrigo is excellent.

What is intertrigo?

Intertrigo is a very common inflammatory condition affecting areas of skin that are characteristically in contact with each other, such as the groin, armpits, under the breasts, and skin folds. These areas of skin that are in contact with each other are referred to as the intertriginous zones. In obese individuals, skin folds may occur in a variety of other areas and so can be affected by intertrigo.

What causes intertrigo?

Simple intertrigo is an irritant dermatitis caused by the combination of frictional rubbing, increased temperature, and moisture. Intertrigo can be complicated various microorganisms, including yeasts, dermatophytic fungi, bacteria, as well as allergic and irritant reactions to various medications and chemicals. There are also some rather exotic dermatologic diseases that have a predilection to appear in the intertriginous zones.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2013