Symptoms Of Intertrigo: Causes, Risk Factors & Home Treatment

Intertrigo is a common inflammatory skin disorder which affects areas which are typically in contact with each other – armpits, groin, under the breasts, thighs and abdomen. These areas are called the intertriginous zones. It is a fairly common rash which can occur throughout life.

Causes And Risk Factors For Intertrigo

Etiological factors and risk factors for the condition include:

  • Warmth
  • Moisture
  • Poor air circulation
  • Friction between the folds of the skin.
  • Constant contact with sweat, urine, or feces.
  • If you are over-weight and obese.
  • Suffer from diabetes mellitus.
  • Have a splint, brace, or artificial limb.
  • Those who sweat a lot.
  • Incontinence
  • Poor hygiene levels
  • Malnourishment
  • A weak immune mechanism.
  • Infants are more vulnerable given that, they are chubby, have shorter necks, and a flexed posture.
  • Certain skin ailments like – psoriasis is known to trigger the development of intertrigo.

Signs And Symptoms Of Intertrigo

  • Red – brown rash on the skin.
  • Itchy, raw or oozing from the skin.
  • The skin gives off an offensive smell.
  • Crusty or cracked skin.

Intertrigo develops in skin folds which rub against each other and lock in moisture.

Common sites for intertrigo are:

  • Under the arms.
  • Inner side of the thighs.
  • In the genitals and groin area.
  • Beneath the breasts.
  • Below the belly.
  • Inside the crease of the neck.
  • Area between the two buttocks.
  • Between the fingers and toes.

When you have intertrigo, you have a tendency to develop an infection as well; this is because the microbes thrive in warm, moist areas.

Home Treatment For Intertrigo

  • The affected site should be kept free of moisture and exposed at all times to expedite healing.
  • Oozing should be controlled with the wet compresses having some astringent. A cream that acts as a barrier is also advised to protect the skin from the irritants.
  • Your dermatologist will advocate use of some topical steroid for a short term, to help decrease the inflammation. Treating uncomplicated intertrigo is usually done by applying a mild topical steroid like 1% hydrocortisone cream, which is available without a prescription, and then cover the skin with zinc oxide paste.
  • In case there is also an infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic or an anti-fungal cream to deal with the infection successfully. If you have a severe infection, you need to take oral medications as well to tackle the infection better.
  • Tea tree essential oil is excellent to manage infections. It is an effective natural treatment which proffers quick results. Add a couple of drops of the essential oil to your bath water daily; it helps clear up the infection rapidly.
  • Make sure that you shower daily and dry off the skin thoroughly. You should always keep the skin cool and dry as far as possible.
  • Steer clear of tight clothing, under garments and shoes.
  • Always wear a good supporting bra.
  • For infants having a diaper rash, you need to change the diapers more often.
  • In case of obesity, the primary step is to shed all the extra pounds and achieve a normal body weight; more so, in order to prevent recurrences.
  • Also, diabetes mellitus needs to be dealt with appropriately; ensure that your blood sugar level is normal at all times.
  • Homeopathy is very effective in managing intertrigo naturally. The most effectual remedies include – Sulphur, Lycopodium and Hydrastis.