vaginitis, vaginosis

Vaginitis in little girls is a very common condition; usually an infection (vaginosis), sometimes an irritation (vaginitis). It usually starts to be a problem when the little girl starts going to the potty by herself and wiping from back to front or back and forth - in any case, not "front to back and drop the paper" as she should. Symptoms are itching, burning with urination (mimicing bladder infection), and perhaps a yellow or green vaginal discharge (which mother often thinks erroneously to be a yeast infection). Poor hygeine is the cause; good hygeine is often curative.

First, look in the vagina to make sure there isn't some old toilet paper or other foreign matter visible. Have the child with vaginitis suspected because of a discharge soak in the tub several times a day in some warm, clear bath water (no soap, please - it's irritating) with a quarter of a cup of household vinegar in the water for mild acidification. After 10-15 minutes of splashing around, have her stand up, lather with soap, rinse, and get out of the tub without sitting back down in the soapy water. If this doesn't cure her in a day or two call your doctor - there could be a urinary infection. If unsure, call your doctor - a urine test is probably in order.

The other form of vaginitis is just vaginal irritation from soap, especially bubble bath. In residency we called it "Mr. Bubble vaginitis." No bubble bath for little girls, I'm afraid.

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