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|ICD-10||L30.4 (ILDS L30.490))|
The term "intertrigo" commonly refers to a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection that has developed at the site of broken skin due to such inflammation. A frequent manifestation is Candidal intertrigo.
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.
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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 or disposable non-latex gloves 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.
Hydrocortisone available at drug stores and over the counter in low dosages is beneficial in relieving the pain and symptoms of the infection but is not curative.
Keeping the area of the intertrigo dry and exposed to the air can help prevent recurrences. Conversely, sufferers have said that daily application of emulsifying ointment to often-affected areas acts as a preventive measure. If the individual is overweight, losing weight can help. Using antibacterial soap (be careful with this because it can be counterproductive because it upsets the skin even more, so observe the effectiveness of this intervention closely), surrounding the skin with absorbent cotton or a band of cotton fabric, and treating the skin with absorbent body powders, including plain cornstarch, and even antiperspirants (with caution: do not apply it directly on the intertrigo because it will hurt) will all help prevent future occurrences. Relapses of intertrigos are common, however, and require periodic care from a dermatologist.
Intertrigo is also a known symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency.
These prescriptions are usually prescribed by a doctor for extreme cases only.
- A.O.C.D.: Intertrigo
- eMedicine: Intertrigo (by Samuel Selden, M.D.)
- DERMAdoctor: Intertrigo (by Audrey Kunin, M.D.)