Intertrigo Symptoms, Causes & More

By priscilla
Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Metin, Ahmet, et al. 'Recurrent Candidal Intertrigo: Challenges and Solutions.' Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Dove Medical Press, 17 Apr. 2018,
  • 2. MP;, Boehncke WH;Schön. 'Psoriasis.' Lancet (London, England), U.S. National Library of Medicine,
  • 3. A;, Janniger CK;Schwartz RA;Szepietowski JC;Reich. 'Intertrigo and Common Secondary Skin Infections.' American Family Physician, U.S. National Library of Medicine,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Intertrigo, or intertriginous dermatitis, refers to an inflammatory rash that occurs between the folds of the skin. Specifically, the rash occurs on areas of the body where skin rubs against skin. These areas include the groin, the armpits, within fat folds and under the breasts.

The rash is a result of moisture, friction and inadequate airflow. The moisture and warmth in these folds provide a suitable environment for yeast, also known as Candida albicans.1Metin, Ahmet, et al. ‘Recurrent Candidal Intertrigo: Challenges and Solutions.’ Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Dove Medical Press, 17 Apr. 2018, Other microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, may infect the rash and exacerbate the symptoms of intertrigo.

1. Symptoms

The primary characteristic of intertrigo is a deep red, glistening, macerated rash that has scaly edges. The rash appears just beyond the boundaries of the opposing folds of skin, and it may sting, burn or itch. In babies and incontinent adults, intertrigo may seem like a diaper rash.

Contact with feces and urine can make the rash worse and slow down healing. Intertrigo and skin infections such as Candida can also be characterized by satellite lesions. These are smaller patches of the rash appearing near the main rash. Note that Candida does not cause intertrigo directly.


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