How to Treat Intertrigo at Home

Feeling uncomfortable due to intertrigo? You’re not alone. Discover natural remedies to soothe and treat this common skin condition. From lifestyle changes to DIY treatments, learn how to easily tackle intertrigo and get the relief you deserve!

Quick facts: Treating Intertrigo At Home

✅ Intertrigo is a skin condition caused by skin-on-skin friction and can be treated with non-prescription topical cream such as 1% hydrocortisone and antifungal (Source: Mayo Clinic)

✅ Using an absorbent powder such as cornstarch and/or talc can help reduce moisture in the affected area and prevent intertrigo (Source: WebMD)

✅ Intertrigo can be prevented by wearing loose fitting clothing and avoiding tight-fitting clothing in the affected area (Source: American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)

✅ Keeping the affected area clean and dry by washing the area regularly and drying it completely can help reduce the risk of developing intertrigo (Source: Cleveland Clinic)

✅ Increasing air circulation to the affected area can help prevent intertrigo from developing or worsening (Source: Healthline)


Intertrigo is a skin infection that affects the body in areas where skin surfaces rub together, such as under the breasts, between the toes, or in the groin area. It typically looks like a red rash and can be itchy and uncomfortable. Fortunately, intertrigo can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications (OTC) and good hygiene practices.

In this guide we’ll discuss key steps you can take to help treat your intertrigo at home and when you should seek medical attention.

  • Differentiate between intertrigo and another common skin issue; jock itch. While jock itch is typically caused by fungus and intertrigo is a bacterial infection, both cause an itchy red rash in areas which rub together or are damp from sweat or water. So proper diagnosis will help determine which treatment course to take.

Symptoms of Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a skin condition that affects the folds of the body, such as arm pits and groin area. It is characterized by redness, itching, and burning sensation in the affected areas. It is also accompanied by moist, thickened, and cracked skin caused by friction, excessive sweating, and poor hygiene.

It is important to identify the symptoms of Intertrigo as early as possible in order to prevent complications and begin treatment.


Redness is one of the main symptoms of intertrigo, a type of skin rash commonly found in areas around the body where two skin surfaces come into contact, such as the folds of skin under the breasts or between adjacent fingers. The resulting red, irritated rash can cause itching and burning sensations, and can be accompanied by tiny red bumps.

Treating redness due to intertrigo may require a combination of lifestyle changes as well as over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. This includes:

  • Keeping the affected area dry and clean by avoiding tight clothing.
  • Applying an anti-fungal powder or cream to reduce any potential fungal infection.
  • Using cool compresses to reduce inflammation.
  • Using OTC creams containing cortisone to soothe irritation.


Itching is the most common symptom of intertrigo, a type of skin infection typically caused by friction and moisture in warm, sweaty areas. When the skin becomes irritated and inflamed, an itchy rash typically forms as a result. Itching can range from mild to severe and can lead to further complications if left untreated.

Other symptoms of intertrigo include:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Cracking or peeling skin
  • Discharge or crusting
  • Pain when touched
  • Bad odor

Treatment for itching due to intertrigo typically involves keeping the affected area clean and dry and applying topical antifungal agents. In more advanced cases, medicated creams may need to be prescribed by a doctor in order to resolve the infection.


Swelling is a common symptom of intertrigo, or an inflammatory rash typically caused by skin-on-skin contact, moisture and friction. Swelling occurs when the affected area appears reddened and swollen due to inflammation. Swelling may be accompanied by pain, itching and burning sensation depending on the cause of the intertrigo.

Intertrigo is most commonly seen in areas where skin rubs against itself such as in between skin folds, under breasts, around genitals and armpits. Treatment depends on the cause but can include:

  • Keeping affected areas dry
  • Changing clothing often
  • Using antifungal creams or ointments


Cracking is one of the many symptoms of intertrigo, a skin condition often caused by a fungal infection or bacterial growth in an area of skin that is exposed to moisture and friction. The affected area may become bright red, puffy and scaly. There may be cracking, scaling, crusting and itching at the site. People suffering from intertrigo are more likely to experience excessive sweating and bad body odor as well.

Treating this skin condition typically involves applying an antifungal cream or ointment to the affected area several times a day. Keeping the area clean, dry and well-ventilated can help reduce itching and prevent further cracking of the skin. If these home remedies don’t work, see your doctor for more advice or prescription-strength medication.


Pain is a common symptom of intertrigo and can range from mild to severe. It may be localized to the affected area or more generalized throughout the body. Pain can vary in intensity and include tingling, burning, itching, and stinging sensations. This pain can be further exacerbated by scratching or rubbing the area which further irritates the skin.

If pain continues to worsen or persists despite treatment, it may indicate that a more serious underlying issue such as infection is present and medical attention should be sought.

Causes of Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a painful skin rash which is caused by friction and moisture. It is usually found in the body folds, such as the armpits, under the breasts, and between the fingers or toes. Some common causes of intertrigo include skin fungi, bacteria, moisture, weight gain, and tight clothing.

Now, let’s look at how to treat it:

Fungal or bacterial infections

Intertrigo is a skin condition that can be caused by either a fungal or bacterial infection. Fungal infections can typically occur in areas of the body where there is more moisture, like folds in the skin, as fungi thrive in moist environments. Bacterial infections are more likely to develop in areas where there is friction or poor hygiene, such as the armpit, inner thighs, and groin area. Both fungal and bacterial infections can cause characteristic redness and itching around the affected area.

Fungal infections may be treated with:

  • Antifungal creams or ointments available over-the-counter or prescriptions from your doctor. The goal of antifungal treatment is to reduce inflammation, itching and irritation of the skin without worsening any existing infection.

Bacterial infections are usually treated with topical antibiotics that combat bacteria on contact. In severe cases of infection or if both fungal and bacterial agents are present, you may need to take an oral antibiotic prescribed by your doctor.

Moisture and friction

Intertrigo is caused by a combination of factors, such as excessive moisture and friction against the skin. Moisture is a major factor in the development of intertrigo, as it encourages the growth of certain types of fungi and bacteria. Sweaty skin, for example, is often associated with intertrigo caused by candida organisms.

Additionally, skin folds encourage friction between two surfaces that can be damaging to the delicate skin tissue in between them. In some cases, other irritants may worsen the condition-such as materials used in clothing or excess weight on the surface. Poor hygiene and dietary choices can also contribute to further problems with intertrigo; these issues should be addressed when seeking treatment for this condition at home.

Heat and humidity

Heat and humidity are some of the most common causes of intertrigo, a skin irritation usually found in areas where skin touches skin, such as the armpits, groin and between toes. Excessive sweating can cause friction and chafing which can lead to redness, itchiness and pain in the area. In hotter environments or if you exercise often or engage in activities that make you sweat profusely, this can increase your risk for developing intertrigo.

To keep your skin healthy and avoid intertrigo it is important to keep these areas dry and clean by changing out of sweaty clothing as soon as possible. Additionally, using an antiperspirant or applying talcum powder to these regions after showering may help reduce sweat production thereby minimizing the risk of developing intertrigo.


Obesity is one of the major causes of Intertrigo, which is a skin inflammation caused by an accumulation of sweat and bacteria or fungus that occurs in places where two skin surfaces rub together. As a result of excess weight, extra pressure on those surfaces can cause skin folds to develop, trapping moisture, bacteria and fungi on the surface and leading to the chronic inflammation known as Intertrigo.

Obese individuals are more prone to developing this condition due to more folds and creases of skin, which can eventually become irritated.

Treatment for Intertrigo due to obesity typically involves:

  • Maintaining healthy weight through diet and exercise
  • Keeping the affected area dry with absorbent powders
  • Topical medications such as antifungal creams
  • Prescription creams like hydrocortisone

Home Treatments

Intertrigo is a common skin condition that can be treated with the right home remedies. There are a variety of home treatments that you can try in order to help soothe and heal the affected areas. From simple lifestyle changes to natural remedies, there are a variety of options that you can use to reduce itching and inflammation.

Let’s take a look at some of the best home treatments for intertrigo:

Keep the affected area clean and dry

Intertrigo is a skin irritation caused by friction between two skin surfaces and usually occurs in moist, warm areas. One of the most effective treatments for intertrigo is to keep the affected area clean and dry.

Cleaning encourages the rapid healing of any existing rash, reduces the risk of infection, and helps prevent further symptoms from occurring. It is important to use gentle cleansers and lukewarm water when washing any area that has intertrigo, as harsh detergents can aggravate the skin and increase symptoms. The affected area should be completely dried after showering or bathing, including all creases or folds, as moisture left on the skin can lead to further irritation.

Additionally it is important to avoid activities that cause friction or sweating in the affected area until it is healed.

Avoid tight clothing

One way to treat intertrigo at home is to avoid wearing tight clothing. Tight clothing can irritate the skin, trap moisture, and increase the risk of infection. It can also worsen the symptoms of intertrigo, such as redness, itching, and discomfort. Instead, opt for loose-fitting garments made of breathable fabrics like linen or cotton. These materials will keep you cool and allow your skin to breathe while you’re battling intertrigo.

Additionally, wear layers so that you can adjust clothing choices when necessary and avoid overheating in warmer weather. Frequently changing clothes and washing items after wearing them can also help reduce bacteria buildup on garments that touch the skin.

Use antifungal creams or ointments

Intertrigo is a skin rash caused by friction and moisture in skin folds, such as the armpits, groin and under the breasts.

To treat it at home, doctors usually recommend topical antifungal creams or ointments containing miconazole or clotrimazole. Since intertrigo is often caused by fungal infections, these antifungal medications can help reduce the symptoms. The cream or ointment should be applied to the affected area two to three times a day, and exposed areas should be kept dry between applications.

For added itch relief, people can also apply cool compresses or calamine lotion to relieve any itching or burning sensations. People should contact their doctor if their symptoms persist after a few weeks of using antifungal treatments.

Wear loose, breathable clothing

One of the most important home treatments for intertrigo is to wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Tight or restrictive clothing can trap moisture, sweat and bacteria next to the skin, which can make the rash worse. Instead, choose lightweight fabrics made from natural fibers such as cotton that allow your skin to breathe and stay dry.

If you will be working out or engaging in physical activities, choose light layers in breathable fabrics like mesh or technical fabrics that wick away sweat quickly. Avoid synthetics such as polyester and spandex whenever possible.

Avoid irritants and allergens

Intertrigo is a skin condition that can cause intense itchiness, redness, and inflammation in areas where the skin rubs together. In order to reduce the symptoms of intertrigo and prevent future flare-ups, it is important to avoid irritants or allergens that may make the condition worse.

It’s best to avoid tight clothing, as this can cause friction on the infected area and further exacerbate the symptoms. Avoiding harsh soaps or detergents on areas where intertrigo is present can also help; instead opt for milder cleansers that don’t contain perfume or preservatives to keep your skin clean without causing any additional irritation.

Additionally, avoiding contact with possible allergens such as pollens, animal dander, dust mites, or even certain fabrics can reduce itching and inflammation associated with intertrigo.

Use a cool compress

Using a cool compress is one of the best home treatments for intertrigo. A cool compress helps to soothe the affected skin and reduce inflammation and irritation. Apply the compress directly to the affected area for about 10 minutes or until it warms up and needs to be replaced.

You can also use mild over-the-counter topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, to help reduce redness and itchiness. Be sure not to use any harsher steroid creams that are prescribed by your healthcare provider as this could make matters worse. Additionally, avoid using hot compresses or anything too intense as this could further worsen symptoms.

Take probiotics

Taking probiotics is a great way to treat intertrigo at home. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help balance the microbiota in your body. A healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut helps support your overall health, including fighting against infections and reducing inflammation. Additionally, probiotics have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of intertrigo.

Probiotics are available in both supplement and food form, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, and kimchi. It is important to take a probiotic supplement with multiple strains for maximum efficacy.

When to See a Doctor

Intertrigo is a skin rash caused by the rubbing or chaffing of two skin surfaces. Although it is usually mild and can be treated at home, sometimes it can become inflamed, painful, and may even require medical evaluation. When to see a doctor for intertrigo depends on the severity of the symptoms.

If you have any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away:

  • Fever
  • Pus coming from the affected area
  • Red streaks spreading out from the area
  • Severe pain that isn’t relieved with home treatments
  • Unusual redness or bleeding in the area

Additionally if your rash doesn’t respond to home treatments after three days or if it gets worse during treatment you should see a doctor as soon as possible.


When treating intertrigo at home, it is essential to take steps to keep the affected areas clean and dry. It is also important to avoid irritating clothing or fabrics, as well as any harsh soaps or detergents that may further aggravate the skin.

Topical over-the-counter creams such as hydrocortisone or antifungal creams can be used to help reduce inflammation and treat infection. If the condition does not improve with home care, it may be necessary to seek medical treatment from a physician.

For those individuals who suffer from recurrent intertrigo, lifestyle adjustments such as weight loss can help reduce symptoms in the long run.

FAQs about: Treating Intertrigo At Home

Q1: How should I clean intertrigo?

A1: Gently clean the area with warm water and mild soap. Do not scrub the area or use irritating soaps. Pat the area dry after cleaning.

Q2: What kind of dressings should I use to treat intertrigo?

A2: You can use a variety of dressing materials, such as gauze, cotton, or foam. For example, you can use a non-adherent dressing such as Adaptic across the affected area.

Q3: What type of creams can I use to treat intertrigo?

A3: Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter (OTC) cream such as hydrocortisone or other OTC antifungal creams. You can also use a zinc oxide or petroleum jelly-based cream to protect the skin from moisture.

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