Sometimes bacterial or yeast infections develop.
The diagnosis is based on the location and appearance of the rash and sometimes on an analysis of skin scrapings and culture to look for infection.
Treatment is aimed at drying the skin and eliminating infections.
(See also Overview of Fungal Skin Infections Overview of Fungal Skin Infections Fungi usually make their homes in moist areas of the body where skin surfaces meet: between the toes, in the genital area, and under the breasts. Common fungal skin infections are caused by... read more .)
Intertrigo develops when the combination of friction and trapped moisture softens and irritates the skin and causes it to break down. This breakdown often leads to infection by yeast or bacteria. The affected area is red, irritated, itchy, or a combination. The areas most commonly affected are warm, moist areas such as under the breasts, between folds of belly fat, between the fingers or toes, the underarms, below the buttocks, and the groin.
Intertrigo commonly occurs in people who are obese or sweat excessively and in people in whom clothing chafes the skin or traps moisture.
Diagnosis of Intertrigo
A doctor's examination of the skin
Sometimes examination of skin scrapings and culture to look for a yeast infection
Doctors base the diagnosis of intertrigo on the location and appearance of the affected skin.
Doctors may remove scrapings Scrapings Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more from the skin and look at them under a microscope. This test helps doctors figure out whether the cause of the intertrigo is a yeast infection. Occasionally, scrapings are cultured Culture Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more (the process of growing an organism in a laboratory for identification) to help doctors identify any bacterial or yeast infection.
Treatment of Intertrigo
Agents to keep the skin dry
Sometimes antibacterial lotions or antifungal creams
If no bacteria or yeast are found, doctors may recommend agents like Burow solution or over-the-counter antiperspirants that contain 20% aluminum chloride to keep the area dry and prevent irritation.
If bacteria or yeast are found, doctors also give antibacterial lotions or antifungal creams. (See also table Some Antifungal Drugs Applied to the Skin (Topical Drugs) Some Antifungal Drugs Applied to the Skin (Topical Drugs) .)