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:
- 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.
- Poor hygiene levels
- 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.