Intertrigo: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Intertrigo is the common skin infection which affects large population. It is kind of fungal infection. It usually infects the skin folds and is more common in overweight people. The word intertrigo is used to describe the inflammation in body folds, caused by skin-on-skin friction.

These fungal infections are more common in diabetics, overweight people, also people who are restricted to bed rest, diaper use and those with medical devices like artificial limbs where there is lot of sweating and moisture gets trapped between skin layers.

Causes of Intertrigo:

Intertrigo is cause by infection due fungi present on the skin. There are certain kinds of bacteria and fungi present on our skin. Out of these bacteria and fungi, some are beneficial for the skin and others are just keeping on the skin and pose a danger of infection. Dead skin cells like hair and nails carry most of these. Fungi get favorable condition to grow and develop in warm and moist places of the body like skin folds.

Factors which induce or aggravate intertrigo are heat, moisture, friction, maceration and lack of air circulation.

The common causes of Intertrigo are

Thrush, a common form of intertrigo is caused by yeast like Candida Albicans. Skin becomes white, itchy and peels off with moisture. There are small peripheral pustules present.

Corynebacterium minutissimum causes persistent brown patches of Erythrasma.

Athletes foot or Tinea pedis is the result of infection by dermatophyte fungi like Trichophyton rubrum . In this form of intertrigo, there are cracks, blisters and peels between the toes.

Poor hygiene

Signs and Symptoms of Intertrigo

There are many signs and symptoms which help you identify intertrigo. It is a skin disorder on the outer layer of the skin and manifests itself in physical form.

The most common sign of intertrigo is constant itching and severe temptation to scratch the skin surface. But itching is too severe and is relieved by scratching in most cases. Itching occurs under the skin fold and it is sometimes not approachable place.

The area of skin around rashes becomes raw and red. As the intertrigo infection develops, skin lesion becomes severely inflamed and increasingly irritated. The most infected areas are located inside the skin folds, trunk, genitals, between the toes and any other area that stay warm and moist. The affected area becomes inflamed and hence irritated.

One can also observe the increase in number of infected hairs on the body. Once the inflammation gets treated, hair follicles will become normal.

Diagnosis Of Intertigo:

Intertrigo is diagnosed by visual examination as in other cases of skin disorder. Doctor will look at the condition of skin and other symptoms present at the time of infection and will determine its exact cause. Doctor may collect a sample by skin scraping and is tested to confirm the type of fungal infection. This will help the doctor to prescribe proper treatment.

Treatment for Intertrigo

The most important part of treatment of intertrigo is to keep the skin and its folds as dry as possible. Physician should educate patients how to keep precaution about moisture and heat.

There is no particular treatment for intertrigo. The important thing is to follow steps for proper hygiene for the affected area of the skin. Try to keep exposed to open air.

Overweight people who have many skin folds, which cause skin-on-skin friction, should try to loose their weight to relieve from symptoms of intertrigo. In fact to cure this disorder completely, people should try to maintain weight according to their height only.

If the person suffering with interigo is a diabetic patient, then he should contol his sugar level to cure intertrigo. Diabetic people who have blood sugar in control will not face such problem of intertrigo.

If there is no such medical condition as told above, then doctor will prescribe some topical antifungal medication to clear off the infection. These antifungal creams may include cl otrimazole and terbinafine cream or oral agents such as itraconazole or terbinafine. It may ten days to completely cure the infection.

Secondary bacterial infection may be treated with topical antibiotic creams like fusidic acid cream. Use antiperspirant to control excessive amount of sweating.

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