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Dr Russ Blog - Skin Folds and Yeast
Skin Folds and Yeast
Created on 8/3/2012

D sent in a good question, especially at this time of year - she asks what to do about yeast infections in skin folds.

Everyone has places on their body where skin is normally in contact with other parts of your skin for prolonged periods of time - such as between your toes and fingers, in the groin area, and for women beneath the breasts. These areas are sometimes the site of fungal, or yeast, infections.

Why would this be?

Yeast likes to grow in protected spaces that collect moisture and warmth; thus, areas where your skin is regularly in contact with other parts of your skin can fit the bill.

People who have had surgery or who are significantly overweight may be at greater risk for this type of infection because skin folds may be more common.

What to do?

First, do what you can to prevent the infection in the first place - do your best to keep skin fold areas clean and dry.

If a skin fold area becomes reddened and itchy, see you doctor.

Yes, it may be a "simple" yeast infection, but untreated the infection can get worse, even become a bacterial infection. Plus, yeast infections in skin folds can be an early sign of diabetes, primarily if they don't seem to get better with treatment.

Medications, many of them available over the counter, are usually used to manage skin fold yeast infections (the medical term being intertrigo).

Some people use other means  such as topical corn starch, limiting sugar in their diets, and probiotics (like acidophilus) to try to get a handle on the problem, but the safest, most conservative way to manage a skin fold yeast infection is to -

see your doctor.

If the problem is a yeast infection they will guide you to the proper medication to use (and maybe do a quick check of your blood sugar, too).

Thanks for a good question, D. I hope this answer helps.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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