Rash Under the Breast or Intertrigo
Intertrigo is a yeast infection caused by candida, which is found over our body surfaces.
It affects places that are warm and sweaty, that is , poorly ventilated. Moisture gets trapped in places where skin folds over itself. This serves as an excellent breeding ground for the growth of fungus.
Commonly Affected Places
- Skin folds under the breast
- Skin folds under the stomach in obese
- Genital area/ Groin
- Crease of the neck in infants
- Between the butts
- Between the toes
How Is Intertrigo Caused?
The places mentioned above have skin folding over itself. For example, as the breast hangs down, its undersurface of the organ touches the skin beneath. So, two skin surfaces are constantly in touch with each other.
In sweaty weather conditions or in situations when you workout or sweat a lot, this area becomes wet. Moisture stays trapped there due to lack of aeration.
Tight brasseries also contribute to the condition. In fact, this may be the prime factor in many cases.
Trapped sweat, along with dead cells and tissue debris lying there, serves as an excellent ground for the growth of candida, an opportunistic fungus which looks for chance to grow whenever it gets favorable conditions.
The under surface of the breast and the skin in touch with it may show a red or reddish brown rash.
This rash may be mildly or very itchy. It may be smelly, if the fungal infestation is too much.
Sometimes, the areas appears to be dry and scaly or flaky.
In untreated individuals, infection spreads to give a full blown fungus infested area, which is red, itchy and irritated. Fluid may be oozing out.
Areas that come in touch with this fluid may further become infected with candida.
Intertrigo may get complicated by secondary infections. There are many bacteria and other type of fungus living over the skin surfaces.
When candida affects the undersurface of the breast, the skin becomes irritated and raw. This gives a chance for bacteria present there to proliferate and infect the region secondarily.
After this onslaught, the picture is even more painful. The region start getting macerated with infective fluid oozing from there. It may soon become painful as the infection spread to give a picture of cellulitis.
Diagnosis is made by examination. The appearance of the lesion is characteristic and the itch is typical in intertrigo.
Conditions like psoriasis, which may give a similar appearance, need to be ruled out.
To confirm the diagnosis, KOH test is sometimes performed to show the presence of candida.
- Wash your body daily to wash away the daily load of fungus, bacteria and other bugs residing over the skin.
- Try to keep the skin dry and cool. You may use talcum powders during sweaty months to absorb excess of sweat.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes. Let the clothes be breathable, allowing ventilation.
- Wear a bra that fits you properly. Tight bras are bad. They may sometimes be the sole cause of getting intertrigo.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes. During sweaty months, open footwear, like sandals, are preferred to let your toes breathe.
- If you are over weight and have many skin folds touching each other, consider loosing weight.
- The area is washed and dried everyday.
- It is kept well ventilated and dry.
- Only loose cotton brasseries are to be worn till treatment goes on.
- Apply an antifungal cream, like clotrimazole or miconazole, over the affected area. This has to be applied thrice daily for 4 to 5 days.