By what you describe and especially when the area gets hot and starts to go red and sore is a fungal problem. The individual brown spots may be warty type growths that your doctor may be able to remove if these are bothersome.
Ask your doctor to prescribe an antifungal cream. You can purchase this from the pharmacy. You do not say in which country you live, but in the UK a cream called Canesten would help. Your doctor may prescribe a different one.
Your doctor can also prescribe an antifungal medication to take by mouth. You can also purchase 100mg Fluconazole a one single dose oral capsule without a prescription, but I feel that you will require a stronger dose and a longer course than one day.
Ask your doctor to take a skin swab to identify that you do have a fungal problem and/or any other bacteria on those skin areas, so that you can get the appropriate treatment.
If you are overweight and also have glucose intolerance or diabetes, these things will encourage yeast overgrowth.
Ensure that you do have regular washes and keep the skin dry but at the same time moisturised. You can get emollients from the pharmacy that can be used instead of soap and they also help to keep the skin moisturised.
As you do suffer from dry skin, avoid using soaps. The doctor can prescribe lotions that you squirt into your bath water like Dermol 600 and also Dibrobase or Doublebase just to name a few that can be used instead of soap. You may find a squirt of baby oil into the bath helpful too.
Once you treat your brown areas with the antifungal creams and keep it moisturised, it may return back to normal, but there are no guarantees.
If you do have diabetes do make sure that you keep your sugar levels under control. Yeast and fungus just love warm moist places to thrive and under your breasts and thighs and under folds of skin is the ideal place for the fungus to grow.
Only wear a cotton bra as the nylon and manmade fabric ones will encourage sweating which in turn encourage yeast growth.
I agree with the above post. If you live in the US, the equivalent anti-fungal cream would be Ketoconazole 2% applied twice a day for 3 weeks.
Are you taking any steroids or immunosuppressed (have an auto-immune disease)?
Jemma gave the best answer. I have some of the same issues. Under my breast are these brown areas, not spots, they are flat and normally do not itch, they act up when I take a hot bath.
I was diagnosed with Candida a few years back, took the fluconazole, and it seemed to help. I now live in New Zealand, I will see what is comparable here. I have not noticed a smell, oh maybe just a wee one that no one else would notice when I take my shirt off over my head.
I do not have diabetes, but I have to watch my sugars, if I do not eat right or too many carbs, it spikes, but I go back down again to normal.
Diflucan (brand) is the equivalent to fluconazole (generic) in the US, but most insurance regulates it to only 150 mg for candida x 1 with no refills. ID providers often give 100 mg QD for the duration of antibiotic use for immunocompromised patients as well as probiotics. There are also contraindications if a patient is taking other medications, like Lipitor or Atorvastatin and fluconazole and potentiating effects. So the risks/benefits of a systemic medication need to be looked at compared to a topical medication.
Thank you SassyLassie.
The brown flat spots may be those age related spots that unfortunately we all get as we mature. But those that are "acting up" after a hot bath aren't them and could be a fungal problem.
I found cansten cream and trimovate cream (this is on doctor prescription only and it is hard to get sometimes in the UK) did help the skin problem when it gets red, shiny and sore (with a funny odour like playdoh).
The oral medications sometimes need to be taken for a long time when one single dose or a few weeks do not help. The advise given to me by the dermatologist is to have a blood test taken to check liver function before and after the course of antifungal medicines. Long term use is not advisable because of danger of liver damage. People with a low immunity are sometimes prescribed these on a low dosage for long term use.
SassyLassie, have you ever had a glucose test to see if you have an intolerance to glucose or have insulin resistance?
I used to get getting lots of skin issues constantly and one doctor that I saw as an emergency one time said "ask your doctor for Metformin". Well we can't do that and it is up to our own doctors to do the tests to find out if we do need that medication. I had been glucose intolerant for many years and since being put on Metformin and having the appropriate antifungal spray (yes Canesan does come in a small spray bottle) and a spray emollient to keep the skin moist, my skin issues are much improved and under control. I had been on antifungal medications for over 6 months (doctor prescriptions).
If you do sweat a lot it may be worth getting Odaban that stops the excessive sweating in the area that is bothersome. (this is not a normal deodorant) and it will not be available in the normal stores. You may get it from the pharmacy or purchase it online.
You will no doubt agree that those sore "spots" do need investigating so that you get the right treatment.
Since you both have had problems, you may have already heard about the Pambra (cotton liner that goes under the bra, and a different kind made for the groin) for people prone to fungal infections. http://pambras.com/ . They are washable and work very well. I've used them myself and they really wick the moisture out, and it's comfortable to wear. Just an FYI. :-)