What is Skinfold Irritation (Intertrigo)?
Skinfold irritation, or more formally called Intertrigo, is a red, raw, itchy rash that forms in areas where skin folds over itself, rubs together and traps excess moisture. The most commonly affected areas are armpits, inner thighs, crease of the neck, beneath the breasts, stomach or genital area. If left untreated skinfold irritation can lead to a painful and even smelly infection.
Causes of Intertrigo
Intertrigo happens when skin folds against other skin causing the dead skin cells to rub off and accumulate resulting in an irritated rash. Sweat also accumulates in between the skin folds making an environment for germs to thrive. People that are obese often suffer from Intertrigo due to excess skin folds. Skin can also loosen and fold as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, aging and a host of other reasons.
Tips for keeping Intertrigo Affected Skin Healthy
The easiest way to reduce your risk for skinfold irritations is to maintain a healthy weight in order to keep skin fold areas at a minimum. Following a proper skincare regimen can help keep Intertrigo prone skin healthy and keep flare-ups at bay.
- Keep skin clean – shower daily and pay special attention to affected areas
- Use a mild cleanser without fragrance, sulfates or harsh cleansers
- Dry skin thoroughly in all creases
- Try to keep skin cool and dry - wicking sweat as much as possible
- Avoid tight clothing – and loose cotton or linen are the best choices
- Apply a zinc-based barrier cream frequently to keep skin protected
- Avoid products with harsh chemical or fragrances that will further irritate skin
- Protect skin daily with a barrier cream to avoid flare-ups