How can I know that whether its vulvovaginitis?The condition is commonest between the ages of 3 to 10 years. Characterized by Irritation of the vagina and vulva (external female genital area) and itching, Redness and soreness between the legs. There is often a yellow or green vaginal discharge which may stain the pants. And some time burning or stinging when passing urine.Mild vulvovaginitis is a very common problem, and some children will have vulvovaginitis many times. Once puberty has begun, vulvovaginitis usually occurs less often.
Why is she having this?
Young girls are more prone to vulvovaginitis because, They have lower levels of female hormones so the vagina and vulva are thin and less resistant to infection. Before puberty the vagina is not acidic like after puberty so bacteria can easily grow and cause infection. And the lining of the vagina and vulva can be quite thin and this can lead to it being easily irritated. Moisture or dampness around the vulva can also lead to vulvovaginitis. This is made worse by tight clothing or being overweight. Another cause of vulvovaginitis is irritants, such as soap residue and antiseptics. Threadworm Infestation is not an uncommon cause.
Is this thrush?
Vulvovaginitis is far more common in children who have not yet gone through puberty than thrush is. If your child has begun puberty, it is possible that they may have a vaginal yeast infection (thrush). Your doctor can differentiate it and the treatments are different.
Can I take care of it?
Most cases of vulvovaginitis are mild, you can take care at home. Reassure your child that they don’t need to worry, as vulvovaginitis is a common problem and a normal part of growing up. Soothing creams (for example, soft paraffin, nappy-rash creams) may help settle the soreness, as well as protect the skin from moisture or any discharge, which can be irritating. Some people find vinegar baths helpful. If there is any suggestion of threadworms then treat the condition.
When to see my doctor?
When the condition is bothering your child If your child is having severe case of vulvovaginitis i.e. blood-stained discharge If your child is having fever and pain when passing urine
Does she need any investigations?
Sometimes swabs from the entrance to the vagina but the results are not always helpful. And urine samples are sent to the lab. Especially if the discharge contains blood then more investigations are usually needed.
Can I do something to prevent her getting this?
Ask her to Wear loose cotton underwear and avoid tight jeans. If your child is overweight, seek advice on how to maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise. Don't use a lot of soap in the bath or shower, and make sure any soap is well rinsed from the vulva. Avoid bubble baths and antibacterial products. Teach her Good toilet hygiene. Teach girls to always wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Make sure that the child is encouraged to pass urine with the legs spread apart. Rinsing after passing urine or having a poo may be helpful .Pat dry with a soft cloth. Avoid wearing pants in bed.
Will she have long term problems?
Childhood vulvovaginitis will always improve at puberty if not before. And it does not cause any long term problems