This is a skin rash which develops in the folds of the skin and is usually caused by a bacterial, yeast or fungal infection. It particularly affects overweight or obese people but also occurs in people with diabetes or who have a prosthetic limb.

Intertrigo is not contagious.

Causes of intertrigo

Folds of skin are ripe breeding grounds for infection which is due to constant chafing and a damp, warm environment. These infections are caused by bacteria or fungi which live in the skin and combine with these moist conditions to form a rash.

Certain skin conditions such as dermatitis may cause intertrigo.

Symptoms of intertrigo

The most obvious sign is a red raw rash in the folds of skin which is itchy and may ooze fluid. This rash develops in folds underneath the breasts, behind the ears, between the fingers and/or toes, top of the inner thighs and the genitals.

Diagnosing intertrigo

Your GP will be able to diagnose this condition by examining the affected areas of skin, e.g. folds. You do not need to be referred for tests of further investigation.

Treatment for intertrigo

Your GP may prescribe a topical medicine such as a steroid cream which you rub onto the infected areas. You will also be advised to keep the infected areas dry and exposed to the air.

Severe cases are treated with antibiotics or antifungal medication.