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4 1/2 Year Old Daughter Often Red and Sore Vaginal Area

My 4 1/2 year old daughter has been complaining that her "private area" is sore, and when I look at her, it is very red. She is also going to the bathroom very often, more than usual, and I'm not sure if they are related. I did take her to the doctor to rule out a bladder or UT infection, neither of which she has. The doctor did give me a steriod cream, which frankly, I'm afraid to use on her. i've been using Pinxsav, which seems to help short-term, but it always comes back. Any suggestions? It is becomming frustrating for us both.

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Yeap, my daughter had the problem as well. She's always been real sensitive to detergents and various soaps. The solution, find the soap that doesn't irriate (Dove for us) and ONLY TAKE SHOWERS! Sitting in the water makes it worse. Also, my daughter was wiping incorrectly, so had more problems after going #2... so watch that as well. I did take my daughter to the doctor and they prescribed a cream...but the main thing for us was switching to showers only.

My daughter had the same problem when she was young. Never found the cause but did discover Northern Bathroom Tissue was the only thing she could use that did not irritate. It cleared up and only came back if I changed brands. Today she's 19 and doesnt' have that problem anymore. Good luck!

Do you use bubble bath or body wash??? My niece had a similar reaction, my sister stopped with the bubble bath and went back to using "baby" wash and everything cleared up.

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My 5 year old has this problem from time to time. And we are quite certain no one has molested her - that is only one of many symptoms of molestation, so don't let hysteria convince you otherwise if you are certain no harm has come to your child.

I have to make certain to wash my daughter frequently, using a gentle soap (I use Burt's Bees baby wash on her).

A large part of our problem is that she does not wipe correctly. Instead of actually wiping herself, she sort of pats which leaves urine on her vulva and clitoral areas which in turn creates much soreness.

We just make certain she gets a bath at least once every other day. If not, she gets red and sore.

Odds are quite good that your problem stems from something similar.

Also, some children simply produce more smegma than others which can cause irritation. Again, the only "fix" is frequent bathing.

2 moms found this helpful

V., I hate to ask, but is there any posibility that your daughter is being molested? Is she with a safe caaretaker while you are working? Is there anyone in her life that may be touching her in an abusive way? I hope that this is not the case, but felt that I needed to ask. I hope that you find a solution to this problem.


1 mom found this helpful

My 3.5 year old daughter gets red and irritated down there alot, too. The doctor told me it's VERY common in little girls (he ruled out any UTI or bladder infection or yeast infection or anything like that). He just said to make sure she's wiping well and maybe use those flushable toddler wipes instead of toilet paper for awhile. He said to help her wipe and maybe 're-learn' how to do it to make sure it's done completely and front-to-back each time. Her problem was kind of intermittent and after that trip to the doctor's it went away in a day or so and hasn't come back (been 3 weeks now). I just make sure she is wiped good each time she pees or poops.

Oh yeah... try taking showers instead of baths. If she does take a bath (no bubble baths!!!) get her out of the tub quickly as soon as she's clean. Sitting in the soapy water can make it worse.

1 mom found this helpful

She more than likely has a yeast infection little girls
get them. Just make sure you do not give her a bubble bath.
They usually treat it with nystatin which the doctor gives
to you.


Hi V.! I wonder if maybe she isn't wiping herself enough or is possibly leaking urine that may be sitting on her skin, causing it to be red and irritated. Maybe have her use a baby wipe, then TP to clean herself after she goes to the bathroom to make sure all of the urine is cleaned off. I would put a little neosporin on it to help heal the skin and also as a barrier from the wetness. Good luck!

Have they checked her blood sugar to make sure she is not a diabetic. This could cause the frequent urination and the sugar in the urine could be causing the irritation. Also has she been checked for yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
My neice had a lot of yeast infections for the first 3-4 years of her life. I feel for her and for you. I know how terrible that can feel for an adult, let alone a little girl.
Just thought I would throw a couple of ideas out to you that you could ask the family doctor about. Hope this helps even a little bit.

Is she wiping after she pees? My 2 year old daughter always gets red when she doesn't wipe very well after she goes to the bathroom.

I don't know if this has anything to do with her problem, but make sure she is wiping the correct way front to back. I noticed when my daughter was red and sore she was wiping from back to front, one introducing new bacteria to the area, and two she doesn't seem to get herself dry enough.

I would use the steriod cream for a day or so just to make her more comfortable. Long term I would be a little concerned.

Good Luck

DD has this problem too, she's gonna be 6 here and it has gotte better as she gets older. The steroid cream really will help, but it's probally nothing more than your daughter has very sensitive skin and of course there is the most sensitive. if she doesn't wipe well, or wipes back to front, takes bubble baths or even just sits in water dirty with soap from her hair or washing, wears panties or pants that are snug and chafe...any and all of these things can cause the problem, or it could be an allergic reaction to your detergent,or the tiolet paper. Good Luck

My daughter had a bad episode of redness and chaffing and we used the steroid cream which really helped. You don't want to use it long term though. Her ped suggested for the 1st couple of days letting her soak in water w/ some baking soda to help dry it up. Also, not letting her sit in her bath water after she is cleaned helps. The soapy water can cause irritation especially fragrant bath soap. So now we let her play in the water 1st, then clean her and then she gets out right after. She rarely has problems now and when she does, ____@____.com takes care of it.

Yeap, my daughter had the problem as well. She's always been real sensitive to detergents and various soaps. The solution, find the soap that doesn't irriate (Dove for us) and ONLY TAKE SHOWERS! Sitting in the water makes it worse. Also, my daughter was wiping incorrectly, so had more problems after going #2... so watch that as well. I did take my daughter to the doctor and they prescribed a cream...but the main thing for us was switching to showers only.

My daughter had the same problem when she was young. Never found the cause but did discover Northern Bathroom Tissue was the only thing she could use that did not irritate. It cleared up and only came back if I changed brands. Today she's 19 and doesnt' have that problem anymore. Good luck!

Both of my step-daughters have had this problem in the past. They have had them for as long as I have been with my husband and they are now 10 & 7. After much arguing with their Mother about it, we have completely cut out bathing and they take showers. They have been showering at our house since the youngest was 4 and the oldest was 6. We don't think the baths are good because even if you don't use bubble bath, which anybody will tell you is a no no for girls (even women), they still didn't rinse the soap and shampoo off good enough after the bath was done. Another thing was using over the counter yeast infection cream anytime that they started getting red. We also have flushable wipes in the bathroom that they use and anytime we notice that they are starting itch or mess with themselves down there, they are told to go change their panties and go to the bathroom and make sure they clean themselves off good with a wipe. Another thing we had to do was stop using fabric softner in the laundry that contained there panties while we were treating the problem. The youngest one wasn't drink enough water and consumed A LOT of milk and juice throughout the day and that has since changed as well. We try to water our 2 yo juice down with water to just help from her having too much acid and such when she drinks juice. All of these things have helped and continue to help as none of them have had any problems for quite some time now. Another thing that I absolutely LOVE is a cream called Resinol. I got it from Wal-Mart and you have to get it from behind the Pharmacy counter, but it is NOT a prescription. You can use this stuff on anything from bumps, scratches to diaper rash or redness. I have used it on all four of my kids at one point or another. I hope of these help and that you find something that helps your little girl. As we all know, no female likes to have problems in that area. Let me know what you find that helps. Good luck to you and her!

My daughter is 4 and has this problem for a good while. She gets REALLY red in the fold area and down to her rectum. She will like pull at her pants and I will say Sis do you need to pee NO MOM and she will be into doing something and will not go so I have to MAKE her. Anyway it is bad so I put on a cream my mom has that works good BUT I NEVER thought of Resinal. I LOVED that when she was a baby for any rash and have used it on my son who is 1. She will complain about her privates hurting and NO I know she is not molested b/c she is with me ALL the time lol I do not work and I am a SAHM and she knows if that ever happens to tell us. Anyway I will have to try the shower thing I had read in another response. She loves her bath PLUS my sister was saying to try ONLY white undies on her b/c my sis gets the same thing when she wears colored undies so I will have to try white only. Also in the fold area she will have some white stuff in there and when I clean it off she will say it hurts and she has an odor even after a bath and I wash her off and I still wipe her SOMETIMES. she is in the I am a big girl now I can wipe which is good but she does not do a good job sometimes. lol I hope she gets better. I switched soap thinking it was that but still is happening. I will have to try to cut out the juice b/c she LOVES Orange juice the sunny D kind and apple juice light. I tell her water is better for her privates and she will drink and ask for it more so she will not get the acid part....

Try cutting out ALL foods/drinks with Citric Acid in them (most juices, kool-aid, pop, kids drinks). My daughter was sensitive to citric acid and had the same problem. She outgrew it and can have it w/out any problems now though.

Good Luck!

Hi V.,

What type of soap do you use on her?
Maybe she's getting irritated by a soap.

I used to use regular soap to wash and one day, out of nowhere, I'd get irritated so I had to switch to summer's eve.
Also, my daughter will get irritated instantly with certain soaps.
I usualy shower her instead of bathe her. Do you bathe her?
Maybe she needs to shower instead.
I have 3 sisters with daughters and all their peds have recommended showers for girls.

I haven't read any other responses, so sorry if this is a repeat. I remember my niece having this problem and it was mostly because she wasn't wiping thoroughly enough when she went to the bathroom. Maybe using baby wipes when she goes to the bathroom will help? By the way, I LOVED Pinxav when my little lady was a baby it is the best diaper rash cream! Good luck.

I took my daughter to the ER last Spring for the same problem. She was holding her pee and crying because it hurt so bad. Same symptoms as your daughter...red area. The doctor in the ER said that she had a staph infection which is common among children. And that her "private area" inside was red and swollen and appeared to be a strep infection! They gave me an antibiotic cream (if I remember correctly) and an oral medicine for her and it cleared her right up! I hope this helps.

Get her Lotromin AF. I had to give that to my daugter, it does not hurt anything, it's a cream. You can get it in CVS in the antifungal foot cream section. It works great, I promise!! :-)My daughter's pediatrician had me get it for her, it takes care of it within a day or so. She is seven now and still gets red, etc. every so often and I just use that.

Did you recently buy her new undies or change your detergent? It could be an allergic reaction to something. Maybe try sensitive skin detergent for now & put a little vasceline on her girl parts to keep the air off it until it heals up. There is also children's benadryl. Just an idea. Good luck to you & your little girl. Poor thing's gotta be miserable.

My daughter just had her 6 year checkup, and although it's gotten better, I did bring this up with her pediatrician. She said that we should try to wash the vagina first during bathtime and not have any soap on the washcloth. Then, obviously, use soap on the rest of her body. She also said what one lady mentioned about the baking soda soak periodically.

for us it was a wiping or (not) issue. We also had to start taking baths and showers more freguenlty urine is acidic and if left on the area can cause irritation. We retaught how to wipe, semipoliced it , powder on nights bad, showers with good rinsing off of the soap (by her) and now she knows that when she takes care of herself, it does not hurt but if she does not, it gets red.

My daughter had and continues with this, she is 7 1/2. I went several times to doctors and ruled out tract infection. Basically what is already stated works for me - quick bath at night to sooth and clean her irritated skin, and the cream of your choice that works, I've used a&d ointment, desitin... but now I use Arbonne baby cream because I know it's botanical based, and not petroleum based. Now she is old enough to know when she is sore its because she isn't taking care of herself. It does become less of a problem with age, but I know how frustrated you are!

it could be a yest infectionand you should try to treat it you nveer now what it can effect in the long run

My daughter just turned 5 and has had the same problem for a couple of years. Sometimes when I check her it seems as if she's not getting completely clean enough so I wet the end of a Q-tip and gently wipe the areas (usually this is just inside the "fold" of her outer vagina area so you have to look for it) that have a little whitish stuff that would be like anything a young child may get in their rolls. (Sorry if this is too graphic...) She honestly hates that part b/c she is very tender but we say our ABCs or count to 100 (we usually only get to 9 or 10) or sing a favorite song. Then I put A&D ointment on the whole area and it seems to help as she instantly feels better and then the next morning the red is completely gone. It seems that we have to do this about once a month or so. When I talked to our Pediatrician about it he said this can be somewhat normal because little girls are still somewhat "fatty" down there so it's very hard to get clean. Hope this helps... good luck!

I know you have a lot of responses, but had to add mine. My (almost) 4 year old daughter has this problem quite often too (the redness). I had all the same answers from my pediatrician as listed: make sure to wipe from front to back, no soap on the vaginal area, baking soda...etc. She stated that it is a very common problem and she will out grow it. The thing that I find that works for my daughter is A & D Ointment (not the white cream one) for diaper rash and skin irritations. I put it on her at night and she's better in the morning. Maybe give it a try. Good luck! :)

I have the same problem with my 5 yo. Her problem is that she doesn't wipe after going potty. You might be experiencing the same problem. I would try buying the kandoo wipes for pee and poop. For bubble baths we use Baby bath for all of our girls. And I use Aveno diaper rash cream on my 5 yo when it starts to hurt! HOpe that helps!

My daughter had problems with that too...occasionally still does and she's 11 now. Make sure your detergents are free of dyes, etc. Try borax to clean your tub...kids can be very sensitive to the residues from cleansers. No bubble baths at all. And if the redness persists, take acidopholus capsules and add a little cool water to the powder to make a runny paste. Apply it to the area and let it dry. It should help clear up the area very quickly.

It's basically a form of diaper rash. She's still young so her wiping isn't very effective. She stays wet and gets irritated. You can keep using baby wipes, instead of paper, since they are usually made for sensitive skin, it'll also help get her cleaner. Make sure she's dry before you redress her. I know this won't work for when you are out, but doing it enough at home when you can will make the one or two times you don't when you are out a lot easier. You can even put a little A&D on her to help.

I hope this helps.

My 5.5 yr old has a similar problem. She just doesn't wipe well enough. When she gets to the point that it hurts, she'll tell me about it. We use Boudreaux's Butt Paste which solves the problem overnight.

I don't have a answer, because I am going through the same thing
it is so frustrating and embarrassing, I have digged and scratch so my skin is peeling off, and the erea is white, it come and go.
The things I that I have used, listerine for jerms, Vagisil anti-itch crememaximum strength, dermahealth medicated Barrier cream, hydrogen peroxide, I wash with clear water, because I can't use body wash or soaps in the area I need help, please

who is your baby sitter, take her to a dr.

My daughter is 4 1/2 and still wears pullups to bed. Sometimes it is the diaper being on overnight that effect her. I just use diaper rash creme if it is like pimply. If it is her private area ( we use lotrimin - It is an antifungal medicine for feet, and then I put diaper rash creme over that). Both help to clear up quickly as it occurs.

Try it, It might work.

J. R.

My DD had the same problem and the doctor prescribed a yeast cream called Nystatin and it always worked for her. She finally grew out of it around 6 or so. But I do think it is all about hygiene and keeping the area dry. I also found that washing her underwear in Dreft baby wash made a HUGE difference. It seemed like she may have had a reaction to my laundry detergent I was using. So I just washed everything of hers in Dreft and even though the problem would pop up occasionally it was not nearly as much as before. Now she is 7 and we don't seem to have any issues and I am able to wash her clothes in whatever detergent I use for the rest of my family. I also had her changing her underwear about 3 times a day. Overkill maybe but it kept any bacteria or moisture away from her body. Hope this helps.

Do you use bubble bath or body wash??? My niece had a similar reaction, my sister stopped with the bubble bath and went back to using "baby" wash and everything cleared up.

Hi V., my daughter had this issue and I would just start making sure she is really clean and dry and I had to tell my daughter to keep her hands away from that area because I think that most of her soreness was comming from her being curious and she kept touching and playing with herself checking it out.
that passed thank God and it got better. lol. Good luck

When my daughter was little she would have yeast infections. The doctor said it was from Bubble baths. That could be the case with your daughter. My doctor says no more bubble baths. Good luck....M. B

My daughter gets like that also and we have found that for some reason she is very prone to yeast build ups, something that she will most likely grow out of. I just have to make sure that I am keeping her clean down there and I do use an antifungal cream like lotramins or the steroid cream. Just a little goes a long way.

I know that I am late with a response, but I hope this helps. I have a 2yo and am going thru the same thing. My MIL was giving my daughter baths (because I was working so late). What I didn't know was that she was giving her bubble baths. She used the baby bath soap thinking that that wouldn't hurt anything. Well she was wrong, it irrated my little girl to where she would cry when we changed her diapers. My dr told me NO MORE BUBBLE BATHS and to use desitin until the swelling and redness goes away. It took about a week, but it is now starting to get better!! Hope this helps!!!

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