Intertrigo is any infectious or noninfectious inflammatory condition of two closely opposed skin surfaces (intertriginous area). While it may result from the overgrowth of microorganisms including bacteria, the term often refers to a process that is due to a superficial infection with Candida species. Candida intertrigo is the most common cutaneous candidal infection of hair-bearing skin .
The term "intertrigo" in this topic refers to Candida intertrigo, the diagnosis and treatment of which will be reviewed here. Tinea cruris due to dermatophyte infection is discussed separately. (See "Dermatophyte (tinea) infections".)
ETIOLOGY AND RISK FACTORS
The warm, moist environment of the skin folds is ideal for the growth of Candida . The risk of infection is increased by specific factors that increase skin friction, increase moisture within folds, or interfere with the immune response and/or promote fungal overgrowth [1-7].
Factors that may increase skin friction include:
- Clothing (especially tightly fitting) that chafes skin
- Activities that promote skin-on-skin rubbing