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  • Author: Samuel T Selden, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 26, 2016


Intertrigo (intertriginous dermatitis) is an inflammatory condition of skin folds, induced or aggravated by heat, moisture, maceration, friction, and lack of air circulation. Intertrigo frequently is worsened or colonized by infection, which most commonly is candidal but also may be bacterial or viral or due to other fungal infection. Intertrigo commonly affects the axilla, perineum, inframammary creases, and abdominal folds.[1, 2] Diaper dermatitis shows significant overlap with intertrigo. Intertrigo is a common complication of obesity and diabetes.[3]



Intertrigo develops from mechanical factors and secondary infection. Heat and maceration are central to the process. Opposing skin surfaces rub against each other, causing erosions that become inflamed. Sweat, feces, urine, and vaginal discharge may aggravate intertrigo in both adults and infants.



International frequency

Intertrigo is common, especially in hot humid environments. Intertrigo is a common complication of diabetes, and it affects most infants as a component of diaper dermatitis.


Intertrigo has no racial predilection.


Intertrigo has no sex predilection, other than that from anatomic differences.


Intertrigo affects people who are very old and very young because of reduced immunity, immobilization, and incontinence.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Samuel T Selden, MD Assistant Professor Department of Dermatology Eastern Virginia Medical School; Consulting Staff, Chesapeake General Hospital; Private Practice

Samuel T Selden, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, International Society of Geriatric Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Paul Krusinski, MD Director of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Paul Krusinski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Franklin Flowers, MD Department of Dermatology, Professor Emeritus Affiliate Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Franklin Flowers, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Mohs Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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