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Intertrigo, going going gone...

Posted Feb 01 2010 12:00am
In 2004, I developed a horrendous, itchy, red fungal infection under the folds of my hanging stomach (I do hope you weren't eating anything!). It reached its climax when I was on holiday in Canada and I ended up in casualty. That in itself is a long story (about ten hours long if I recollect correctly), but I'll get on with the main point. This red fungal infection turned out to be something called intertrigo, a common fungal infection experienced by obese people with hanging folds of skin. You can get it under armpits, breasts, and groin as well as under the tummy where I got it and it thrives in hot, sweaty places! It doesn't look very nice but the worst part is that it is incredibly itchy - to the point where you feel physically sick.

I got some temporary relief for the condition while on holiday but had to wait till I got back for a longer term solution. In fact I was prescribed a steroid-based cream by my GP which I used, at her insistence, for nearly six months. By this time, the infection had not only resolutely stayed, but I had started to develop horrid, open blisters too. I began to suspect the cream was making things worse and did a bit of Internet research. I discovered to my horror, that the manufacturers recommended the cream not be used for more than ten days - because being steroid-based, it was prone to causing thinning of the skin (permanent) and open, ulcerated blisters!

Needless to say, I stopped using the cream immediately, and on the advice of a pharmacist, reverted to an off-the-shelf product instead. That did the trick and I've used a combination of cream and powder ever since to keep the condition under control. I've been left with permanent scarring under one part of my tummy but I don't suppose I'll be modelling bikinis any time soon - so I can live with it! However, over the past few weeks I have started to think I might be rid of the condition. My tummy still sticks out a bit - that will have to be sorted with some excess akin removal next year. But I don't have a hanging tummy any more. That means the area underneath no longer gets all hot and sweaty - and so it stays dry and fungus-free.

As a result I have started to grow in confidence recently, and gradually cut down on my use of the anti-fungal cream and powder. I've not used either now for the past two weeks and it would appear that my intertrigo has gone!! Yippee!! This is one of the most important outcomes of my weight loss. A few months ago I really thought I would be stuck with having to apply cream and powder to my tum for the rest of my life. I feel a weight (no pun intended) has been lifted off my shoulders.
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