Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Irritating Intertrigo


I have never had so many opportunities to scrutinize mine until autoimmune disease arrived. I've written multiple posts about autoimmune related skin issues - you can read them here, here and here.

My latest foray into epidermal excitement involves a skin condition that is only very indirectly related to autoimmune issues. It's called intertrigo.

I'm not a happy camper when my body changes due to age or inactivity. As it turns out, my skin isn't happy either when two skin surfaces meet such as in skin folds, or underneath breast tissue - dang, hate it when body parts start moving south - , or around the waistline when that little pooch becomes more than a pooch. Sweat, body oils, yeast, and germs can be trapped in these areas and raise a ruckus resulting in rashes and skin breakdown, or intertrigo. You can read all the squirm-inducing details, complete with icky pictures here and here.

In an attempt to keep my autoimmune skin dryness at a minimum it seems that I have only become more prone to other skin issues.  Um, I'll spare you all the details of my very own personal intertrigo experience. But here is what I have learned in general about this annoying condition:

How to tell if you have been blessed with intertrigo? You may develop a reddish or brownish colored area anywhere the skin rubs together such as in the armpits, between the toes, in the creases of the neck, under breasts, in the groin area, or underside of the belly, and the area is itchy or irritated.

Treatment includes keeping the affected areas clean and dry. So even if daily baths or showers are too drying overall for your skin, these specific problem areas may need daily cleansing. You may need to be creative in keeping these areas dry. How dry? Dry as in putting your hairdryer on the cool setting and aiming it at armpits and other unusual body parts. Wear undergarments that are absorbent and wick perspiration away from the skin.

See your doctor if these tactics don't resolve the issue, as a prescription ointment or cream may be necessary.

Puppy with a zillion skin folds found here.

1 comment:

Jenny P said...

You're like a mindreader. I think you're becoming my virtual mentor of sorts... I've recently developed a mystery rash under my wedding rings. I figured it had something to do with water getting trapped when I wash my hands, and it's getting to the point now where I can't wear my rings all the time (GASP!). Actually I shouldn't wear them at all but I'm out of town for training and can't stand the idea of not having at least my wedding band on with Shawn so far away. It may not be intertrigo of course, but it sounds related. ARG! Damn problem skin!