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By Denise M. Aaron, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery; Staff Physician, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Veterans Administration Medical Center, White River Junction

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Intertrigo is skin maceration in intertriginous areas caused by moisture and/or infection.

Intertrigo develops when friction and trapped moisture in intertriginous areas cause skin maceration and inflammation with formation of patches or plaques. Infection by bacteria and yeast is also common. Typical locations are the inframammary, infrapannicular, interdigital, axillary, infragluteal, and genitocrural folds.


  • Clinical evaluation

Diagnosis of intertrigo is based on clinical appearance; potassium hydroxide wet mounts and cultures can guide treatment.

Differential diagnosis of intertrigo includes


  • Drying agents and sometimes topical antibacterial lotions or antifungal creams

If no bacteria or yeast are detected, drying agents should be therapeutic. Effective options include talc (rather than cornstarch, which can support fungal growth), Burow solution compresses, and super-absorbent powders.

If bacteria or yeast are present, topical antibacterial lotions or antifungal creams are given in addition to drying agents.

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