Intertrigo

Definition

Intertrigo is inflammation of the skin folds. It tends to occur in warm, moist areas of the body where two skin surfaces rub or press against each other. Such areas are called intertriginous areas.

Causes

Intertrigo affects the top layers of skin. It is caused by moisture, bacteria, or fungus in the folds of the skin. Bright red, well-defined weeping patches and plaques are seen in the folds of the neck, armpits, elbow pits, groin, finger and toe webs, or backs of the knees. 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.

Home Care

It may help to lose weight and change your body position often.

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 provider can usually tell if you have the condition by looking at your skin.

Other tests may include:

Treatment options for intertrigo include:


Review Date: 10/14/2018
Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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