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What is it?

Intertrigo is a condition of the skin that occurs in areas of skin folds such as armpits, groin and spaces between the toes, especially the feet.

The skin eliminates water constantly, imperceptibly, that immediately evaporates, a phenomenon known as perspiration. In these regions, water vapor is retained, moistening and softening the skin. The disease is related to this fact.

Moreover, because the skin folds are almost always covered by clothing, the sking stays more humid, dark and warm, facilitating the development of fungi and bacteria in these sites.

Some factors may favor the appearance of intertrigo, such as obesity, diabetes, use of synthetic fabric clothes and excessive sweating.

When localized in the feet, the use of closed shoes during most of the day, especially those which tighten the toes, and socks made of synthetic fabric, are the main factors triggering its onset.

Characteristics and symptoms

In the initial phase, intertrigo appears as a reddish stain, wet or scaly, usually accompanied by itching or burning. Later, the skin becomes whitish, soft and can arise fissures (deep cuts), very painful. These fissures facilitate the emergence of an important complication of the disease, a condition known as erysipela. In patients with erysipela, the finding of intertrigo is very often.

When the disease is caused by the fungus Candida albicans - candidiasis intertrigo - a reddish and moist area is formed, which expands forming speckled "satellites" lesions around the most affected spot (photo below). The condition is usually accompanied by a lot of itching and locations most often affected are the groin and inframammary region.


To avoid intertrigo, one must combat obesity, correct the changes due to diabetes and excessive perspiration. Prefer loose cotton clothes, especially the underwear, avoiding clothes of synthetic fabrics. Avoid staying in wet clothes for long periods.

The shoes should be loose, avoiding the ones that compress the toes, and socks should be made of cotton. Wear closed shoes as little time as possible. After bathing, always dry your feet well. People whose toes are too close to each other, can use cotton balls between them to keep them separate and to absorb moisture.

Great part of the treatment consists of following the steps above, since it is crucial to avoid the predisposing factors and keep the skin dry. Antiseptic talcum powders may be indicated, because in addition to fighting the growth of fungi and bacteria, help to keep the skin dry.

According to the secondary infections that can be present, the use of anti-fungal and antibacterial drugs is indicated and should be prescribed by a dermatologist after the correct diagnosis.

Related articles

- Tinea cruris, groin mycose
- Skin mycoses

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