Intertrigo is irritation of touching skin surfaces in body fold regions (armpits, under the breasts, belly, buttocks, groin, and sometimes between fingers or toes). Intertrigo are often worsened by any conditions causing increased heat, wetness, and friction. Intertrigo could also be complicated by superficial skin infection with yeast or bacteria.
Who's at risk?
Intertrigo can affect people of all ages. Intertrigo is most often seen in overweight people, diabetics, people spending tons of your time in bed, diaper users, or anyone with incontinence problems. It also can occur in individuals wearing or using anything that causes friction or holds moisture against the skin surface.
Signs and Symptoms
Intertrigo is most ordinarily seen in skin fold areas. In people who are obese, the skin my become inflamed in neck creases, on the skin behind the knee or in front of the elbows, in the thigh and groin folds, or, less commonly, under the breast or belly folds. Redness and breaks in the skin (erosions) of opposing skin surfaces may be noted. The area may ooze or be sore or itchy.
Ø Gently cleanse the affected areas daily with mild soap substitutes.
Ø Keep the areas dry and exposed to the air. If this is not easy to do, using absorbent cotton or fabric, as well as absorbent powders, may help (as long as fabrics are changed if they become damp). Mild antiperspirants may help, but these can cause further irritation in some individuals.
Ø Barrier creams, such as zinc oxide paste, may be helpful for individuals wearing diapers or having incontinence problems.
Ø If overweight, weight loss is recommended.
Ø For persistent irritation, 0.5–1.0% hydrocortisone cream twice daily may help. Discontinue if you're no better after 2 weeks of use.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Ø Low-potency topical steroid creams.
Ø Calcineurin inhibitors (pimecrolimus cream and tacrolimus ointment), which are non-steroid topical agents, can be helpful in difficult cases.
Ø Coexisting infection should be treated if present. In cases with limited yeast involvement, topical miconazole, clotrimazole, or ciclopirox olamine may be used. If more severe yeast involvement is noted, oral antifungal agents, such as fluconazole, may be used. Topical or oral antibiotics may be needed for bacterial infections.
Ø A biopsy may be recommended if the diagnosis is uncertain.
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