Taking Care of Our Skin
Skin care is such a huge topic in general, but it can be an extra concern for those of us with larger bodies. We have more skin and sometimes it requires a little more love and care. There are a few skin issues that can be common for those of us with bigger bodies. One of those is intertrigo. I’m amused by WebMd’s definition “a fancy name for a rash that shows up between the folds of skin. It is a very common skin rash that can crop up throughout life.” Duh! Since we tend to have more folds, we can get it more often.
Today, I want to share some info about intertrigo as well as some tips and products I’ve learned about to help with this issue. If you have intertrigo, I hope something here helps provide a bit of relief!
Also, as stated before, I’m not a doctor or a medical professional of any kind. If you have a rash please see your doctor. I am not providing medical advice. This blog post is to provide some suggestions for easing minor symptoms. If you have underlying medical conditions, or symptoms persist or worsen, please see a doctor.
Onto the info!
As stated above, Intertrigo is a very common rash between folds of skin, it can appear anywhere skin rubs against each other and traps moisture. Jock itch and athlete’s foot are both types of intertrigo - told you it was very common!
Some common places it can occur:
Genital area (Jock itch)
Between fingers and toes (athlete’s foot)
Red or reddish-brown rash
Raw, itchy, or oozing skin
Cracked or crusty skin
Sometimes it is accompanied by an infection. Skin folds can become more easily infected because those areas are warm and moist which is a great environment for germs to grow. These infections can be caused by fungus, bacteria or yeast.
Managing and preventing intertrigo
Two of the most important things to do is to try to keep the area clean and dry. See my post on tummy liners and body powder for info on staying dry. While it is super common, you do want to treat it so that the areas do not get infected and/or cause more severe complications. If your symptoms persist or get worse, please see a doctor. There are easy prescription treatments including antifungal or antibiotic cream or ointments, as well as oral medication.
Clean the area daily. Especially in the summer! The moisture and heat build up from sweating can make any issues worse.
Dry off completely. After cleaning, make sure to get completely dry. Otherwise that freshly cleaned area will just stay wet and warm. You want to get and keep these areas as dry as possible. Beyond the tummy liners and body powder other ways to get dry include:
Hit those areas with your hair dryer, using the “cool” setting
Aiming a fan on the areas prone to moisture before getting dressed
Use a very absorbent towel
Avoid wearing tight shoes or clothing. Constrictive clothing heats you up and makes you sweat more. When I wear any shoes or socks my feet sweat like I’m in the middle of Death Valley. I’m telling you flip flops are where it's at!
Wear breathable fabrics. Same concept as above, you want the skin to breath and not be trapped. One of the things that annoys me is that most women's plus size clothing is polyester. That shit does not breathe!! I sweat enough as it is, I don't need my clothes making it worse. Also, added spandex and elastic to jeans makes it less breathable. I know they fit our curves better, but I can't wear anything that isn't at least 95% cotton. (Side note, all the elastic and spandex are also not as strong as cotton, that's why thighs holes are a bigger issue these days, but that is a rant for another day).
Use Skin Protectants and Barriers. These are two different types of products. Barriers keep moisture out. They can be creams (like zinc based diaper rash creams), powders, or physical barriers. Protectants relieve your symptoms from prolonged exposure to moisture, they can also act as a barrier.
Ok, so we know clean ‘n dry! Here are the things that can help those, as well as help manage any symptoms you’ve got.
Dr. Bronner’s Soap (Tea Tree, Lavender, or Eucalyptus)
Hibiclens (for bacterial infections only, do not use on face or genitals)
Clotrimazole cream (aka Lotrimin)
Miconazole cream (aka Monistat)
Terbinafine cream (aka Lamisil)
Strips of 100% cotton t-shirts
100% Cotton bandanas
Phew! That was a lot!
Do you have a favorite way to avoid and treat rashes? Let me know if I missed something.
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