The ailments triggered by your underwear
THIS week: Tight undies may lead to rash ILL-FITTING knickers or underpants that dig into the skin can cause cuts or chafing, says Nicholas Raine- Fenning, who is a gynaecologist at Nottingham’s Nurture Fertility and an expert in reproductive medicine at the University of Nottingham.
‘This can then be colonised by bacteria or fungus that live in the genital area triggering a red, sometimes itchy, rash called intertrigo,’ he says. ‘People often confuse it for other skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis or even heat rash.’ It’s common around the genitals where large numbers of bacteria congregate, but tight bras, particularly underwired ones that dig into the skin, can also cause the problem under the breasts.
Once diagnosed, intertrigo can be treated easily with a course of an over-the-counter fungal cream. ‘People commonly put treatments such as hydrocortisone on it, which does reduce the inflammation, but won’t treat the cause, so the rash returns,’ says Mr Raine-Fenning.