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Intertrigo - Symptoms & Treatment


The intertrigo may be define as an inflammation of the body folds. Intertrigo is an inflammatory condition of skin folds, induced or aggravated by heat, moisture, maceration, friction, and lack of air circulation. Intertrigo is the word used to describe a rash in body folds. Affected skin is reddened and uncomfortable. Intertrigo is inflammation of skinfolds caused by skin-on-skin friction. It is a common skin condition affecting opposing cutaneous or mucocutaneous surfaces. Intertrigo is particularly common in those who are overweight. Body folds (flexures) are prone to inflammatory rashes because of:

  • Relatively high skin temperature
  • Moisture from insensible water loss and sweating cannot evaporate
  • Friction from movement of adjacent skin results in chafing

Symptoms of Intertrigo

Intertrigo develops from mechanical factors and secondary infection. Heat and maceration are central to the process. Opposing skin surfaces rub against each other, causing erosions that become inflamed. Sweat, feces, urine, and discharge may aggravate intertrigo in both adults and infants. The appearance of intertrigo is dependent on the skin area involved and the duration of inflammation. Erythema and weeping may progress to maceration and crusting. Intertrigo is an inflammation of your skin. It is caused by two surfaces of skin rubbing together.

  • Red and moist skin
  • You may have blisters or scales
  • The affected area may smell cheesy or yeasty.
  • Common sites include your inner thighs, in your armpits, underneath your breasts, in the folds of the skin on your abdomen, between your fingers and toes
  • Intertrigo is made worse by sweating.
  • You may also have seborrhoeic dermatitis or thrush (candidiasis).

Causes of Intertrigo

The causes of Intertrigo are

  • Initiating factors include friction, perspiration, maceration, or irritation from stool, urine, drainage, or topical agents.
  • Autoeczematization and infection also may be factors.
  • Whether infectious agents play a primary role or simply are common secondary agents is controversial.
  • Thrush , caused by yeasts such as Candida albicans, is characterised by rapid development, with itchy moist peeling white skin with small peripheral pustules
  • Erythrasma , caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum, results in persistent brown patches
  • Tinea pedis (athletes foot), caused by dermatophyte fungi such as Trichophyton rubrum, causes peeling, cracks, and blisters between the toes
  • Folliculitis , caused by various bacteria especially Staphylococcus aureus, is often provoked by shaving. Painful red spots and pustules are centred on hair follicles.
  • Blistering skin disorders such as bullous pemphigoid
  • Rare inherited conditions such as Hailey-Hailey disease

Treatment of Intertrigo

Treatment depends on the causes on which micro-organisms are present in the rash. Combinations are common.

  • Sweating may be reduced with a gentle antiperspirant .
  • Bacteria may be treated with topical antibiotics such as fusidic acid cream, mupirocin ointment, or oral antibiotics such as flucloxacillin and erythromycin
  • Yeasts and fungi may be treated with topical antifungals such as clotrimazole and terbinafine cream or oral agents such as itraconazole or terbinafine
  • Inflammatory skin diseases are often treated with low potency topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone. More potent steroids are usually avoided in the flexures because they may cause skin thinning resulting in stretch marks ( striae ) and even ulcers. Calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus ointment or pimecrolimus cream may also prove effective.

 

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