What is the clinical appearance of intertrigo?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Paras Vakharia, PharmD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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The appearance of intertrigo is dependent on the skin area involved and the duration of inflammation. Intertrigo initially presents as mild erythematous patches on both sides of the skinfold. The erythematous lesions may progress to weeping, erosions, fissures, maceration, or crusting. Worsening erythema or inflammation could suggest the development of a secondary cutaneous infection. [1, 7]

Pustules or vesicles may herald infection. In the perineum, depths of the skin folds are involved compared with purely irritant diaper dermatitis in which only convex surfaces are involved. Bluish-green staining of the diaper or underclothing may indicate pseudomonal intertrigo, which can be treated with vinegar soaks. [8, 9] Intertrigo infected by candidal species often presents with satellite lesions.

Any skin fold may be involved with intertrigo. In adults or infants who are obese, skin folds are accentuated, and inflammation may occur under pendulous abdominal folds, in neck creases, or in popliteal or antecubital fossae.

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