What Is Intertrigo?
It is a red rash that develops in the skin folds. Generally, intertrigo will be found in deep folds, such those as under the breast, on the stomach, and in the arm pits. As Dr. Bailey explains in her blog post, Intertrigo: A Red Rash in the Skin Folds, the aspects of skin folds that make them susceptible to intertrigo are:
- Moisture (especially from sweat)
- Friction of folded skin
- Normal skin germ irritation that thrives in moist environments
- Candida growth, a yeast that adds to the issue
Unfortunately, Dr. Bailey sees this skin rash in her practice year round - either due to sweating from hot weather during the summer or from layering your clothes to keep warm in the winter.
Who Is Most Prone to Intertrigo?Anyone with lingering sweat is susceptible. The sweat creates a warm and moist environment, which is the ideal environment for intertrigo. Also prone to intertrigo are:
- Women with large breasts
- People of all ages with folds under their bellies
- Babies (small skin folds)
- Diabetics, often dealing with candida (created from warm and sugar environment)
Dr. Bailey's Intertrigo Prevention and Skin Care Treatment TipsTo lower your chance of being affected by intertrigo, follow these tips:
- Wash the skin folds with antibacterial soap, such as Dial. This decreases skin germs and acts as an antiperspirant. Only apply the soap to the sweaty parts of your body otherwise it may be too drying.
- Blow dry your skin folds after toweling off when drying from a shower or bath.
- Apply anti-yeast powder, such as Zeasorb AF, to dry skin folds. Avoid corn-starch based powders, because starch is essentially a sugar perfect for yeast growth.
- Keep cool by wearing loose and light breathable clothing, like cotton and linen. It is important to allow your skin to naturally air dry too after daily activities.
Skin Care Treatment for IntertrigoEven the best and most compliant prevention methods may not prevent the development of intertrigo. When this occurs, Dr. Bailey uses the methods below in her practice to treat intertrigo:
- Apply clotrimazole creams for two weeks to fully treat the yeast infection.
- If redness persists after a few days of using clotrimazole cream, Dr. Bailey adds a thin layer of 1% hydrocortisone cream on top of the clotrimazole cream. This requires physician supervision since prolonged use of hydrocortisone can thin the skin.
- Avoid foods with high glycemic (sugar) index: sweets, sugary drinks, and refined flours. Check out Dr. Bailey's low glycemic diet, which she calls an Alkaline Mediterranean Diet.
Important Precautions of Intertrigo Skin CareIntertrigo care should not be taken lightly. Check out these important cautionary tips during treatment:
- If you experience severe stinging from any cream use, see a doctor immediately to diagnose your skin condition.
- Do not combine anti-itch medication, such as Benadryl, with clotrimazole or hydrocortisone cream.
- Not all skin fold rashes are intertrigo. Visit your local physician if your rash persists after a week of intertrigo skin care.
- Treatments for infants should always be supervised by a physician since their skin is so delicate.
- If you are continuously troubled by intertrigo, visit your local physician to be tested for diabetes. Diabetics have an ideal skin environment for intertrigo, making them more susceptible than the average non-diabetic person.
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Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care TeamPhoto attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Doable/amanaimages/Corbis