- Keep areas of folded skin open with dry towels.
- Blow a fan on moist areas.
- Wear loose clothing.
- The condition does not go away, even with good home care.
- The area of affected skin spreads beyond a skin fold.
- A skin scraping and a test called a KOH examination to rule out a fungal infection
- Looking at your skin with a special lamp called a Wood's lamp, to rule out a bacterial infection called erythrasma
- Rarely, a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis
- Antibiotic or antifungal cream applied to the skin
- Drying medicine, such as Domeboro soaks
- Low-dose steroid cream
- Creams that protect the skin
Intertrigo is inflammation of the skin. It tends to occur in warm, moist areas of the body where 2 skin surfaces rub or press against each other. Such areas are called "skin folds."
Intertrigo affects the top layers of skin. It is caused by moisture, bacteria, or fungus in the folds of the skin. The affected areas of skin are usually pink to brown. If the skin is very moist, it may begin to break down. In severe cases, there may be a bad odor.
The condition is most common in people who are obese. It may also occur in people who must stay in bed or who wear medical devices such as artificial limbs, splints, and braces. These devices may trap moisture against the skin.
Intertrigo is common in warm, moist climates.
It may help to lose weight and often change your body position.
Other things you can do are:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider can tell if you have the condition by looking at your skin.
Other tests may include:
Treatment options for intertrigo include:
Habif TM. Superficial fungal infections. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 13.
James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Bacterial infections. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 14.
- Review date:
- February 12, 2014
- Reviewed by:
- Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.