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Illnesses & Symptoms

Vaginal Irritation/Redness

Prevention

It is very important for girls (and women) to keep themselves clean to prevent irritation and urinary tract infections. The following are ways to keep your daughter's vaginal area clean:
 
  • Always wipe from the front to back after your child goes to the bathroom or when changing your baby's diaper. This is very important after a bowel movement.
  • Teach girls to wiggle the toilet paper up between labial skin folds. Trapped urine is very irritating and a common problem.
  • Change your baby's diaper often.
  • Encourage your child to go to the bathroom as soon as she knows she needs to go. Holding urine can lead to infection.
  • Avoid using colored or scented toilet paper.
  • Have your child wear white cotton or cotton-lined underwear.
  • Avoid dressing your child in tight-fitting clothing, especially jeans, shorts or tights.
  • Allow your child to play in plain bath water first. Then use soap and shampoo, rinse and take her out of the tub right away. Be sure to rinse the soap from between the labia well. If your daughter is sensitive to soaps, avoid soap entirely and use 1 cup baking soda in the bathtub of warm water. Allow her to play until she is ready to wash hair and get out.
  • Do not use harsh soaps, liquid soaps or bubble baths when bathing your child. Sitting in a bathtub full of bubbles or dirty water can be very irritating.
  • Use a removable shower head or cup of water to rinse the genital area after emptying the tub of the soapy water, if soap was used or if shampoo irritates your daughter.
  • Offer your child lots of fluids (water is preferred) during the day. Limit the amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks (soda pop) - these are never healthy!
  • Use petrolatum jelly or diaper rash cream overnight if your potty-trained child complains of pain.
  • If there is redness and/or itching, you can apply a thin layer of Lotrimin AF (athlete's foot cream) to the area one to two times/day for several days until the irritation is gone.

Your child should be seen for an appointment if:

  • Pain persists after several days of the above treatments.
  • Fever is associated with painful urination.
  • Child refuses to urinate after several hours.
  • Vaginal discharge, especially if foul smelling.
  • You suspect toilet paper or other object is stuck in the vaginal area.
  • Your child starts having urinary accidents if she is potty trained.
  • You are concerned about a urinary tract infection.

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Illnesses & Symptoms