It’s common for people to develop irritated, itchy, raw, red, or discolored rashes (also known as intertrigo) in their body folds, dermatologist Dr. Laurel Naversen Geraghty tells Bustle, but certain products — both medicated and unmedicated — can help. When shopping for the best product for under-breast rashes in particular, there are various approaches you can take. The dermatologist recommends a few steps: Use a mild cleanser once or twice daily, and apply a daily dusting of powder, ideally one that contains a yeast-fighting ingredient, such as miconazole, to keep the skin under your breasts dry and rash-free. Use plain, soothing, fragrance-free moisturizers or ointments daily to reduce irritation and keep your skin barrier strong, and when skin is red, discolored, raw or irritated, apply a medicated anti-yeast cream, such as one with clotrimazole.
In addition to using topical products, Dr. Geraghty says to keep the area under your breasts dry. She explains, “Moisture can keep rashes and irritation going under the breasts. It can help to dab the area dry throughout the day, choose breathable fabrics, and give a cool blast of a blow-dryer when needed.” Some of her patients even place moisture-wicking sheets under their breasts to wick away moisture while they sleep, or tuck them under their bras, if they wear them, during the daytime.
To learn how to treat and prevent rashes under your breasts, keep scrolling for product recommendations and more tips from the doctor.
1. Doctor’s Pick: The Best Powder For Under-Breast Rashes
Dr. Geraghty says that a daily dusting of a miconazole powder, such as Zeasorb AF, can help treat and prevent rashes (the ingredient is also frequently used to treat athlete’s foot and jock itch). Not only does this powder keep the under-breast area dry, but the miconazole — an anti-fungal yeast-fighting ingredient — inside can help alleviate skin discomforts such as itching, burning, and chafing.
Whatever powder you pick, stick to ones that don’t contain corn starch, the expert says. That’s because corn starch can, in some cases, actually worsen your intertrigo.
2. Doctor’s Pick: The Best Lotion For Under-Breast Rashes
“I recommend barrier protection at least once daily,” Dr. Geraghty says. “Applying a plain, soothing, fragrance-free moisturizer or ointment can help to reduce irritation and keep the skin barrier strong, and protect and restore the barrier while you sleep. Cetaphil Healing Ointment is ideal for soothing and protecting delicate, sensitive areas like this,” she explains. The gentle, rich, unscented cream is made with a blend of shea butter, petrolatum, and vitamin E, and boasts the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, meaning it’s suitable for people with extreme skin sensitivities and allergies.
The expert points out that Cetaphil’s Healing Ointment is best to use if your under-breast skin is open or raw, but if your skin is irritated but intact, she says you may prefer the lighter Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. “This cream is a perennial favorite of mine and is packed with soothing ingredients, such as niacinamide, panthenol, glycerin, and sweet almond oil,” Dr. Garaghty says.
3. Doctor’s Pick: The Best Moisture-Wicking Sheets For Under-Breast Rashes
Some of Dr. Geraghty’s patients find using InterDry Ag wicking sheets helpful for absorbing excess moisture and fighting microbes on their skin. Made with antimicrobial silver, they can help reduce moisture, itching, and inflammation, and prevent skin tears and further chafing from occurring. Though the sheets are expensive, they’re also a large, 10-by-30-inch size, so you can cut them down to fit under a bra or shirt.
4. The Best Body Wash For Under-Breast Rashes
Dr. Geraghty says that she’s always against using harsh body scrubs and cleansers for anyone, but notes that you’ll definitely want to avoid them in the sensitive under-breast area. Instead, the doctor says to wash with a mild cleanser once or twice a day to keep the area clean. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash is a go-to for people with all sorts of skin sensitivities and allergies, due to its super-simple formula that’s free of common irritants like fragrance, parabens, lanolin, sulfates, and soap. It gently and effectively cleans, but it won’t dry out your skin or further irritate any existing rashes or irritation.
5. The Best Anti-Yeast Cream For Under-Breast Rashes
There are a number of reasons why under-breast rashes occur, explains Dr. Geraghty. One is that body folds “tend to become damp with heat, exercise, or normal perspiration. When the skin is continually damp, it can lead to irritation and may allow germs to flourish. Yeast and other germs that naturally live on our skin’s surface without causing trouble suddenly can cause a localized infection within warm, damp body folds,” she says. To treat intertrigo, she advises using an anti-yeast cream, such as clotrimazole (commonly known as Lotrimin). Then, after using your anti-fungal cream, follow up with a thin layer of your plain body ointment for barrier protection.
6. The Best Anti-Chafing Gel For Under-Breast Rashes
For any area where chafing and friction can cause burning, rashes, or redness, like under your breasts, as well as on your inner thighs, bikini line, or underarms, you can use a layer of Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel to prevent irritation. This fragrance-free gel dries down instantly to a completely clear powder, forming a smooth, soft, dry surface that stops chafing and chapping, partially thanks to the dimethicone in the formula. Though it’s extremely light, the powder lasts through sweating and rubbing without coming off or getting even a bit sticky, so you most likely won’t need to reapply it during the day.
Dr. Laurel Naversen Geraghty, board-certified dermatologist.