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Intertrigo is a skin disorder caused by the macerating effects of heat, moisture and friction. Most often seen in the groin, axillae or in inframammary folds (1).

Aetiological factors include:

  • past history of seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • infection with Candida albicans
  • diabetes mellitus
  • obesity
  • poor hygiene
  • humid climate

Characteristically intertigo presents as mild erythema which can be seen initially as red plaques on each side of the affected skin fold (in a mirror image fashion). The patient complains of itching, stinging and burning (1). As the erythema progresses features of a more intense inflammation may develop e.g. - erosions, oozing, fissures, exudation, maceration, and crusting (1).

The moist and damaged skin predisposes to secondary skin infections (1).

Examination reveals red, weeping skin at the site of moist skin folds.

Treatment includes:

  • drying the skin with talcum powder
  • patients should use light, absorbent cloths and keep away from nylon or other synthetic fabrics
  • topical treatment with antifungals (which may be combined with a steroid cream) eg trimovate
  • oral antibacterial or antifungal therapy may also be indicated (1).

Click here for an example image of intertrigo


Last reviewed 01/2018