Skin Fold Rash: Treatment and Prevention

A skin fold rash is an itchy irritation that can develop in any place there is skin on skin. The friction, moisture and minimal air circulation creates a home for bacteria and fungus to thrive. Whether that skin fold is under your breast, your neck, arm, abdomen or from post bariatric surgery, the result is an uncomfortable skin rash which is sometimes accompanied by an odor.

The result can become Intertrigo. Intertrigo is a rash within a skin fold that forms on opposite sides of the skin fold. Anyone can get Intertrigo. It is more common with overweight people, people with diabetes, babies – as in diaper rash – or anyone that does anything that causes friction against the skin. The skin inside a fold sweats normally but where the skin is touching, there is no way that air can get in to evaporate the sweat. The symptoms include redness, cracks or pealing of the skin, which may ooze, and be sensitive to touch and itchy. Intertrigo can be a yeast, a fungus or bacterial. Quite often Intertrigo is caused by Candida. “Candida is considered part of the normal flora in the gastrointestinal tract, the mouth and the vagina. Normal flora consists of many bacteria as well as yeast that coexist and protect the body from invading pathogens. If the conditions are just right however, Candida can multiply and take over, causing an infection itself.”

Healing Skin Fold Rash

If you have developed a rash between your skin folds, it is important to clean the area with mild soap and ensure it is completely dry. If towel drying is too uncomfortable you can allow the area to air dry, if accessible. You can also use absorbent cotton or fabrics to maintain dryness (replace when they become damp). Topical treatments include various ointments and powders. Sometimes oral medications are prescribed if there is a secondary fungal infection.

Preventing Skin Fold Rash

Use a barrier agent to prevent skin fold rashes from reoccurring. As seen in this testimonial, Squeaky Cheeks is very effective against this type of skin rash.

1. Montana Department of Public Health


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