Sore red rashes may develop in the major flexures of heavily built
sportsmen and -women when the weather is hot and damp. These patches
are not due to ringworm although they arise at the same sites and
are similar in appearance. Some call this condition 'sweat rash'
or intertrigo, while others prefer 'seborrhoeic dermatitis'. It
is probably due to a combination of mechanical injury from the rubbing
of clothes on skin surfaces (the perpetually wet horny layer is
weaker than normal) and mild infections (due to overgrowth of the
normal skin bacteria). At times it may be very itchy because the
inflamed skin develops an eczematous reaction. The clue to distinguishing
it from ringworm is that this intertrigo-type rash is symmetrical
and reaches up into the apices of the groin.
Stopping all vigorous exercise and staying cool usually clears it
up in a day or two. Sometimes a weak, nonirritant antimicrobial
cream - such as miconazole (Daktarin, Monistat) - may be required
for the more severely affected (see Chapter 28). If there is eczema
present as well, a combination of an antimicrobial with hydrocortisone
- such as Daktacort - is helpful.