Intertrigo Treatment In Gainesville, FL
Skin rashes are among the most common types of skin conditions experienced by patients of all ages. Often irritating and sometimes painful, certain rashes may require medical attention for treatment. If you're suffering from a skin problem, contact us to schedule an appointment with a trusted dermatologist in Gainesville. Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery offers personalized, clinical remedies for a wide range of skin conditions treated, including intertrigo. Call our office today to learn more about our available treatments and to schedule a dermatologist appointment.
What Is Intertrigo?
Intertrigo is a rash (dermatitis) that usually develops within the folds of the skin, or flexures, where the skin rubs together, such as behind the ears, in the folds of the neck, under the arms, below a protruding abdomen, in the armpits, in the groin, and areas of skin located between the buttocks, fingers, and toes. When the skin rubs together, this friction causes a breakdown of the skin's top layers, causing the skin to become inflamed and develop a rash. In addition, the breakdown of skin and the presence of moisture make it easier for fungi, yeast, and bacteria to develop in the area, which can worsen the rash significantly.
The primary cause of intertrigo is the irritation of skin rubbing against skin. These skin areas are often moist, warm, and lack adequate air exposure, making them the ideal breeding grounds for microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Secondary intertrigo infections may include fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In some cases, intertrigo may occur as a side effect of cancer treatment with chemotherapy.
Secondary intertrigo infections in the fungus group are commonly classified as candidal intertrigo. Candida is also referred to as yeast. Approximately 90% of all skin-related yeast infections are caused by candida albicans, commonly known as thrush. The vast majority of people have some minor amount of candida albicans present on their skin. As a result, when friction from skin-on-skin rubbing creates irritation, the yeast naturally found on the skin can take advantage of skin breaks and increase in the area. Candida rashes appear as inflamed patches of skin that are very bright in color and appear raw.
Bacteria commonly associated with intertrigo include the following.
- Staphylococcus Aureus (Staph Infections)
- Proteus Vulgaris
- Proteus Mirabilis
- Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococci
- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
The following comprises the most common virus strains associated with intertrigo.
- Herpes Virus
- Retrovirus (HIV)
- Papillomavirus (HPV)
Intertrigo is most commonly seen in skin folds. For obese patients, the affected skin may become inflamed in their neck creases, on their skin behind the knee or in front of the elbows, in the thigh and groin folds, or under the breast or stomach folds. Persistent, bright redness, breaks in the skin, and superficial reddening of the skin in patches (erythema intertrigo) are also common symptoms of intertrigo. In addition, the area may ooze or become sore, further inflamed, and itchy. Intertrigo usually starts as redness or small bumps or spots in skin folds.
The rash can feel itchy, painful, tingling, burning, uncomfortable, and itchy. The intertrigo appears on both sides of the skin fold, almost as a mirror image of the opposing side. If the rash is not infected, it is typically symmetrical. Those with a secondary infection, such as bacteria or fungi, may experience a foul intertrigo smell, greater inflammation, and a lack of rash symmetry in the affected areas. You may develop intertrigo in more than one area of the skin. Small skin folds, such as folds on the eyelids or around the chin, can be affected.
Who Gets Intertrigo?
Intertrigo can affect people of all ages. However, this skin condition is most frequently seen in people with obesity or those who are overweight, as well as those with diabetes. Intertrigo also affects immobile patients, those who use diapers, and anyone with incontinence issues. Likewise, it may occur in patients wearing or using any garment or device that causes friction or holds and retains moisture against the skin's surface. Patients with a weakened immune system, excess skin, poor hygiene habits are also susceptible to developing intertrigo. Infants are at a high risk of developing this condition, as their skin is highly sensitive. Young children and babies are likely to have skin rubbing against itself, such as in folds of the neck, and are more likely to have damp skin from drooling or wearing diapers.
When intertrigo is only inflammatory, and no secondary infection signs are present, treatment is typically straightforward. In these cases, dermatologists instruct patients to keep the affected areas dry and clean and follow the intertrigo home treatment instructions provided by their doctor. Your dermatologist may suggest one or more of several solutions to help control the intertrigo, such as using a zinc oxide intertrigo cream, petroleum jelly, talcum powder, or aluminum sulfate. Patients with an infection within the intertrigo likely require the use of topical creams, such as topical antibiotics, topical antifungals, and topical steroids, as prescribed by our dermatology associates. The exact treatment plan for infected intertrigo will depend on the cause of the condition and the type of infection you have. For more information about your options for intertrigo treatment, please contact our office.
For most patients who experience intertrigo, the condition may come and go many times over. Being able to identify and understand your predisposition to intertrigo, however, can help you take certain precautions to prevent the development of intertrigo and any secondary infections. Preventative measures that may help you avoid intertrigo include the following.
- Keep areas between skin folds clean, dry, and aerated.
- Maintain a healthy skin care regimen suitable for your skin's needs.
- Use fragrance-free cleansers, moisturizers, and sun protection to minimize irritation.
- Use a dermatologist-recommended powder on the area 1–2 times daily.
- Avoid being in high heat; use an air conditioner.
- Keep any preexisting conditions, like diabetes, under control.
- Wear fabrics, and use linens and towels made with 100% cotton.
- Dry off and cool down following any exercise.
- Use a dehumidifier to control indoor moisture levels.
- Minimize your exposure to sweat and urine.