The decision to go under the knife for breast augmentation crosses the mind of many American women as it remains the number one cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 286,274 breast implants were done in 2012 — a seven-percent decrease from 2011. Back pain is one of the most commonly reported woes of big busted women, until now. Intertrigo — a bad odor skin rash — has become the source of frustration for these voluptuous women. The common rash usually develops from chafing of warm, wet skin, especially under the breasts, says MedlinePlus. As the breasts rub against the skin, bacteria or yeast start to form, leading to infection of the rash.

Tina Williams, 62-year-old retired civil servant from South Yokshire, England, is a large breasted woman at 5'5" and a size 18-20, who has suffered with intertrigo for 20 years. "'I also found the wire from underwired bras would really dig in and aggravate the whole thing," she said to the Daily Mail about her troubles with the rash. The "shapely" woman also shared that even at her slimmest, she was a D cup; as woman go up in cup size, they can become more prone to the bad odor infection. However, cup size is not the sole culprit of intertrigo; the shape of your breast can also put you at risk. "...Even someone with small breasts could suffer intertrigo if they sagged and rubbed the skin," said Dr Graham Johnston, a consultant dermatologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, to the Daily Mail. Whether you are large- or small-chested, buying the wrong bra will cause your skin to chafe and result in red, itchy skin under your breasts — possibly leading to infection.

Symptoms Of Intertrigo

Intertrigo can resemble psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin usually in the form of red patches with a white buildup of dead skin cells. Unlike psoriasis, intertrigo can form pink to brown clusters on the skin and cause a bad odor in severe cases. Sufferers of intertrigo should be aware that moisture, heat, lack of ventilation, and friction between skin folds can further agitate intertrigo.

Risk Factors For Intertrigo

A woman's breast size and shape aren't the only risk factors associated with the development of intertrigo. Your physical and mental health can also determine the occurrence of the skin rash in your lifetime, often leading to frustrations due to its ability to cause severe pain and give off a foul odor.

Excessive Weight Gain

Intertrigo under the breasts is common among people who are overweight or obese. The skin-on-skin contact that leads to the skin rash is inevitable for those who have excessive fat concentrated in various areas of the body. According to the American Family Physician, intertrigo mostly occurs between the toes, in the armpits, in the groin area, under heavy breasts, and in the neck creases.


Diabetics should pay close attention for signs of intertrigo because it can lead to a series of health complications. Experiencing hot flashes after eating commonly occurs among many diabetics due to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, which can to greater bacterial growth, says Mayo Clinic. It is important to maintain blood sugar levels and dress light in order to avoid the prevalence of intertrigo.


The irritation from intertrigo can be a result of stress. "'The intertrigo would still flare up about half a dozen times a year - particularly during the hot summers." "Looking back, I think it worsened when work was stressful, too," Williams told the Daily Mail. Stress can weigh heavily on your mental health and aggravate your skin, causing an outbreak. If stress is not controlled, your skin is more susceptible to acne breakouts and other skin problems, says Mayo Clinic.

Cure For Intertrigo

Intertrigo can be treated with creams and ointments that can reduce inflammation on the affected area. MedlinePlus suggest these treatment options for sufferers of intertrigo:

  • Antibiotic or antifungal cream applied to the skin
  • Drying medication, such as Domeboro soaks
  • Low-dose steroid cream
  • Creams that protect the skin

Tip: Williams found the cure to intertrigo: a bra for large breasted women called the Optifit Bra. This bra helps lift the breasts away from the body to avoid skin-on-skin contact, unlike regular bras. "I never thought it would help with the intertrigo, but within a few weeks of wearing the bra, I noticed the rash was clearing up," Williams said to the Daily Mail.