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An intertrigo is an inflammation (rash) of the body folds (adjacent areas of skin).

An intertrigo sometimes refers to a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection that has developed at the site of broken skin due to such inflammation.

An intertrigo usually develops from the chafing of warm, moist skin in the areas of the inner thighs and genitalia, the armpits, under the breasts, the underside of the belly, behind the ears, and the web spaces between the toes and fingers. An intertrigo usually appears red and raw-looking, and may also itch, ooze, and be sore. Intertrigos occur more often among overweight individuals, those with diabetes, those restricted to bed rest or diaper use, and those who use medical devices, like artificial limbs, that trap moisture against the skin. Also, there are several skin diseases that can cause an intertrigo to develop, such as dermatitis or inverse psoriasis.


In general, treatment for all skin rashes, less is more, and consult a dermatologist if it persists for more than a week. Infections can be treated with a topical and/or oral medication(s). The most common treatment being a baby diaper rash ointment such as a topical zinc oxide cream. Some commonly available over the counter brand names: Sudocrem, Desitin, and Balmex. There are also many other generic diaper rash creams that may work. Also for a persistent intertrigo infection it is common for an anti-fungal cream, most commonly clotrimazole 1%, to be used in conjunction with a diaper rash ointment.

It is suggested to use a paper towel to apply the zinc oxide cream and/or anti-fungal ointment(s) to avoid excessive hand washing, as it is very difficult to wash zinc oxide ointment from the hands because it resists water. Other ingredients in baby rash ointments that are beneficial to relief of intertrigo is cod liver oil and shark liver oil. These oils are also available in pill forms that may also help the infection (see links).

Hydrocortisone available at drug stores and over the counter in low dosages is beneficial in relieving the pain and symptoms of the infection but does not cure the infection.

Keeping the area of the intertrigo dry and exposed to the air can help prevent recurrences. If the individual is overweight, losing weight can help. Using antibacterial soap, surrounding the skin with absorbent cotton or a band of cotton fabric, and treating the skin with absorbent body powders and even antiperspirants will all help prevent future occurrences. Relapses of intertrigos are common, however, and require periodic care from a dermatologist.

Prescription Medicines

These prescriptions are very dangerous and are usually only prescribed by a doctor for extreme cases.

  • Grifulvin V
  • Griseofulvin

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Intertrigo". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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