Ever notice that on a warm, sunny day or while working out that an extremely itchy rash starts to form in the folds of your skin, such as the areas behind your knees or under your arms? This could be caused by a condition known as intertrigo.
Getting intertrigo is not only frustrating, but it can be painful and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will help relieve any pain and discomfort you are experiencing.
What is Intertrigo?
Intertrigo is an inflammatory skin condition. It causes a red rash to develop in the folds of the skin. The rash develops due to the constant friction that occurs with skin-to-skin rubbing.
Typically, skin-to-skin friction usually doesn’t cause a rash, but if conditions are right, a rash can form. For example, skin that is warm and moist tends to stick together easier, which causes more friction, leading to inflammation and skin damage.
Sweating Increases Your Risk of Getting Intertrigo
Sweating can cause moisture to become trapped on the surface of your skin. That is why you are more likely to get intertrigo during the warmer summer months or if you engage in intense workouts.
Signs and Symptoms of Intertrigo
Intertrigo can happen anywhere where skin comes into contact with other skin. Some common places where it develops include between the fingers and toes, under the arms, in the creases of your neck, under your breasts, around the groin, and the inner thighs.
Common symptoms of intertrigo include:
- Itching and stinging in affected areas
- Burning sensation in affected areas
- Formation of a symmetrical red rash
More severe cases of intertrigo may have the following symptoms:
- Skin that appears bright red
- Skin that feels raw
- Formation of cracks in the area where the rash is present
- The rash starts to turn crusty and scaly
- Affected areas start to bleed
Watch for Signs of Infection
Even though intertrigo is an inflammatory condition, it can create conditions that result in an infection. The constant friction that causes intertrigo can damage your skin. Damaged skin, which is usually warm and moist, creates the perfect environment for fungi and bacteria to overgrow. The overgrowth of fungi and bacteria leads to infection.
It is important to watch for signs of infection. The following are common symptoms that occur when your intertrigo becomes infected:
- The appearance of the skin rash changes – usually, the skin will start to look redder and more inflamed
- A foul smell that seems to be coming from the damaged skin
- Formation of pus-filled bumps in the affected area
- Skin becomes extremely tender to the touch
If you suspect that an infection has formed as a result of intertrigo, call Valley Skin Institute to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Receiving prompt medical treatment can prevent serious complications from occurring.
Intertrigo Home Treatment Tips
Mild cases of intertrigo can usually be treated in the comfort of your own home. Do the following things at the first sign of intertrigo, and you may be able to quickly treat it:
- Gently dry the affected area with a soft towel several times a day.
- Dry the affected area with a hand fan, fan, or blow dryer. If using a blow dryer, make sure to use the coolest setting.
- Prevent skin from constantly rubbing by applying an absorbent dressing over the affected area. Make sure to change the dressing regularly.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. It would be ideal to wear clothing made of moisture-wicking fabric.
- Apply a topical corticosteroid cream to the rash to help with itching and inflammation.
Having Problems with Intertrigo? Speak with a Dermatologist
Intertrigo home treatment usually works for most people. However, if the rash becomes infected or you notice the rash doesn’t go away, it is best to speak with a dermatologist. Contact us at Valley Skin Institute to schedule an appointment to talk with our dermatologist about intertrigo.