Intertrigo refers to an inflammation of the skin folds that is triggered by skin-on-skin friction in warm, moist areas. This condition is most common in obese people as a result of their excess body folds, but it can also occur in natural skin folds such as the eyelids, groin and underarms. Intertrigo may also present as diaper rash in young children. The most common approach to curing intertrigo centres on minimising moisture and skin friction and applying a topical cream to clear the rash or prevent its spread.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Loose-fitting clothing
- Dry towels
- Topical cream or ointment (antibiotic, antifungal or steroidal)
Move your body frequently to expose your skin to air and reduce skin-on-skin rubbing.
Wear loose, unrestrictive and absorbent clothing. Avoid nylon and other synthetic fibres, as they tend to bind to the skin and breed moisture.
Place clean, dry towels in between skin folds intermittently to keep the folds open and absorb any existing moisture.
Apply a mild steroidal, antifungal or antibiotic cream to the affected area, as instructed by your physician. Treatment with prescribed medications can vary, depending on the severity and cause of intertrigo.
Report any worsening of symptoms or spread of inflammation to your physician for further evaluation and treatment.
Tips and warnings
- For an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of intertrigo, consult with your physician.
- Infants will typically receive gentle management of their condition with a vigilant application of a diaper rash barrier cream, frequent changing and the use of absorbent diapers.
- Overweight or obese individuals can decrease their risk of experiencing intertrigo through safe weight loss.
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