32 answers

Could My 3 Year Old Daughter Have a Yeast Infection?

Lately my 3 year old has been sayig that her vaginal area hurts. I have looked to see what could be causing it and its red and when I touch it she cries. I thought maybe since shes potty trained she isnt wiping well enough. I do see what looks like toilet paper build up inside and I use a wash cloth to wipe it out and put baby powder on it. It seems to help for a little while but like a week later she complained again. I don't want to go to the doctor if its nothing. I have done that so many times since she was born that I freak out over something that turns out to be nothing. I can't really afford to waste money on something that could be nothing. I also don't want my daughter to suffer so I thought I would try to get some help from all you moms. I will probably ed up taking her to the doctor anyway but please tell me if you have had anything like this happen to your daughters. Thanks in advance for all your help.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well first of all, thank you all for your imput. She hasn't had any problems. If it happens again I will be taking her to the pediatrician. I also have decided to wipe her clean every night or every other night with baby wipes and I will be sure to get rid of the powder. I had no clue that you were not supposed to use powder down there on babies, doesn't make sense to even sell the stuff. But any way, I want to thank you all again for taking the time to help me feel better about this issue and about being paranoid when it comes to my daughter. I think that when I get a chance to go to the store again I will be getting the flushable wipes so she can do everything on her own a little easier.

More Answers

Antibotic use and diets high in sugar/yeast (this includes things the body turns to sugar: fruit, pasta, juice, crackers, etc) are common causes of yeast infections in children. If you can see a relationship to these things and her pain, maybe it could be yeast. If she eats yogurt (regular or soy), I would try to increase her intake as it has elements which protect the digestive tract from yeast.
Otherwise, she may be irritated because of soap, laundry detergent, powder or normal self exploration. I would avoid using anything other than water. Hope she feels better soon and good luck.

My daughter got them every time i used different soap. i have to use free of every thing soap. The dr gave her medication and over the counter lowtramin (anti-foot fungus get the generic) and it went away but quit using the baby power because it is making it worse. Good luck. I would take her to the drs because she might need medication for it and the baby power might be helping the infection.

Hi M.,

Is she sore in/near the vagina area or near the vulva (where she pees?) If she is sore in the vulva, then you could rub a little desitin or vaseline near the area to protect her skin from wetness.

If she is sore and red in the vagina area, has she been taking antibiotics? If she has, then a yeast infection is likely.

And I hate to mention this, but my sister-in-law's pediatrician warned her about girls masterbating at that age. He indicated that it was very common, so doing a little questioning or extra observation might not be a bad idea.

If it keeps going on, I'd take her to the doc. I know that they may make you feel wierd about coming in when its nothing, but I've always felt that I'd rather be safe than sorry. It just means you're a good mother and are doing your best to give the very best care to your daughter. May all little girls and little boys have moms who love them so well.

All the best,

My daughter has the same problem sometimes. I believe it's from not wiping well enough. When she gets irritated like this, I just use a little A & D ointment after I clean it. We also have Huggies clean team wipes next to the toilet and they seem to help....I've even used them myself on occasion.

My dd (2 1/2) just had vaginitis. The drs. think it was from diarrhea for a few days and the dirt just irritated her. They took a urine sample (from a catheter because she refused to go on the potty or in a diaper for 2 days) and her bladder was very full. They also suggested a warm water or vinegar sitz bath. She loved sitting in a little tub of water and playing for 15 minutes several times a day (we don't have bathtubs, only showers, so it's a unique event here).

I would definitely suggest taking her to the dr. if she's complaining. It's not worth it being something more and you not taking her. Good luck.

If she has a yeast infection, you should be able to see tiny red bumps, not just a red area. If you do see red bumps, you can use lotrimin. If you just see a red area, you can use any diapar rash cream with zinc oxide, or a wonderful powder called "Caldesene." We call it "Pink Powder" in our house because it comes in a pink container.
My kids are no longer tocclers, but we keep "Pink Powder" on hand anyway! Good Luck!

Its very possible to have a yeast infection. I would say that in addition to the toilet paper, the baby powder is part of the culprit. Baby powder is a bad idea for females because when you add a dry powder to any wet area it will form a paste like substance. That alone is a bad thing for a private area. I would also invest in some flushable wipes to help clean the area untill her skills in wiping develop. I would aslo make sure that she is wiping from front to back to make sure that she isn't spreading e-coli (found in the bowel) to her vaginal area. E-coli is considered normal flora to the bowel, ie good bacteria, but it can cause an infection in the vaginal area. Alos, I would ask if she is taking baths? Baths in girls can have them sit in soapy water that is not healthy to the vaginal area. Its best to have her soap up in the shower and soak in the tub with clean water so she can play and have an enjoyable time. If you suspect a vaginal infection or even severe vaginal inflamation i would take ker to her Ped. to have it looked at. Good vaginal health is important at any age. It would be a shame for her to have her later fertility impared due to an infection that went untreated.

I would take her to the doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection. My daughter had this as well and we were told to use Lotramin AF (athletes foot cream) and it worked like a charm. I used it as directed but i used it at night especially so that it could work while she was at rest.

Good Luck.

I think that this warrants a trip to the doctor. You know yourself how miserable it is to have issues down there. Can you imagine how your little daughter feels? Also, no baby powder anywhere near that area. It is probably making it worse instead of better.

Hi.. I have a boy, but since I AM a girl, lol, my suggestion is not to put the powder on her. Try that first and see if it clears up... GOOD LUCK!!

Yes, she could have a yeast infection - try using some over the counter cream and apply a couple times a day. If you do not see an improvement in a day or two take her to the doctor and have her tested for strep throat. I know that sounds weird, but both my daughters had rashes like that, and it was strep. This rash developes alot if strep is left untreated, and this is the time of year alot of that is going around. The test the doctor does is pretty inexpensive - just a swab of the throat.

DEFINATELY take her to the Doctor! NO baby powder...it can be causing this UTI or infection. NO bubble baths....if you do give her a bath, put a few Tbs of baking soda in it. I have suffered from infections since childhood myself. Lots of fluids and call you Dr. asap...good luck!

When my daughter had a yeast infection, it was bright red splotches instead of a smooth red area like diaper rash. It went from inside, and spread around the front diaper area too. Also, it didn't hurt her, but she was very small and may not have been able to communicate it. The stuff prescribed (forgot what) got rid of it immediately.

I would recommend letting your daughter wipe with gentle unscented wipes instead of fragile toilet paper whenever possible. My 3 year old daughter always uses wipes unless we're out occasionally in public restrooms if i have none with us. Also, I've heard it's not good to use baby powder near the vagina, as particles can wander internally and cause infections...try to keep the area clear. I would check with your doctor like you said even if it's nothing. Good luck!

My 6 yr old daughter and 5 yr old neice go thru the same thing. I have had her urine tested to make sure she doesn't have a track infec. but the doctor never really looked to see if it was yeast or not. When she complains about it, I have put diaper rash cream on her and it seems to help for a while. I figure, they prob don't wipe well enough yet, prob irritation, specially if there is no sign of fever or anything else. Don't hesitate to cal the doctor if you feel u need to, tho.

My daughter, now six, still has issues with this. When she was younger - even younger than three - it was, on more than one occasion, a yeast infection. To my surprise, the pediatrician had us put lotrimin on it (yes, used to treat athletes foot). The last time we went, the doctor explained that her skin in that region could just be extra sensitive to moisture. Baths are okay without bubbles but we have switched to showers and that seems to have helped. He also prescribed a cream because it also had some soothing element to it. It seems to help.

I think a visit to your pediatrician with these facts will help both you and your daughter.

Best of luck.

Take her to the doctor. No need to have her suffer. Use only mild soap and water. No bubble baths or scented soaps. Also you could try a very mild, dye free, scent free detergent for laundry. Cotton panties only.

some times our balance off in our vagina. if she has a yeast infection you would see a thick white dischargein her underware and it would smell. try to put her in a warm bath with some baking soda. one of my favorite doctors i had when i was younger told me sometimes our balance is off and we make too many good bacteria's and can still be irritated. it is like the opposite of a yeast infection. whenever i feel irritated i do this myself and it always seems to make me feel better.

Try some good old Desitin or Balmex on the area before she goes to bed at night. Be careful with the powder, it can collect in the nooks and crannies and actually make matter worse. If you must use it, use plain cornstarch.

It could be yeast, but not the type of yeast infection an adult would get. It would be localized to the outer area. You could try getting Lotrimin, or another OTC med, that is for yeast. Most of them are for athletes foot (ie Lotrimin AF). This may or may not work. It could be bacterial, or it could just be irritation from not wiping and leaving her underwear a little wet when she's done using the bathroom.

I went through this with my daughter. It started right after she potty trained just under 2 yrs old. We tried everything. I had to take her to the pediatrician because I could not get rid of it. She gave me Bactroban to try in case it was bacterial. Neither the Lotrimin nor the Bactroban worked, though. While trying to figure out what was causing it, I found out that this is relatively common in little girls. One of my nieces had gone through the same thing, and her mother told me what worked for her. It is a prescription, so I emailed it to my ped (we had been emailing back and forth since the last visit to discuss this). She approved it and called it in to the pharmacy for me. It is Dermatop Emollient Ointment (my ped called in the cream, but that works fine). It's a mild steroid, mixed with some other medications. It worked WONDERS. My daughter is 7 now, and she still occasionally gets irritated to the point where we need to put some of this on it. It goes away with one application.

So, I know exactly what you are going through. The problem is that if it's bacterial, the Lotrimin will make it worse. If it's yeast, the Bactroban will make it worse. I was so frustrated trying to figure out what we could use to help her. She screamed every time we tried to wash her or try a new cream. She was in a lot of pain, and for months we could not figure out what to use to make it go away.

I know that was long, but I hope it helped some. :)

Edited to add: NO powder! You should not use powder on her bottom, or give her bubble baths. Wash her with warm water, then try whatever medication you are using.

ANOTHER EDIT: Wash all of her panties in HOT water with unscented, hypo-allergenic detergent. We use All Free Clear. The hot water is important.

My daughter had that around the same age..the dr called is vaginitis..basically just an irritation of the vaginal area. we let her soak in a beth and then when she went to bed no underwear and nightgowns..no pj's to let her air out.
It went away in a day or so.

Your daughter could have a urinary tract infection. Try getting her to drink lots of fluids, but not soda, and add cranberry juice to her diet. It doesn't taste all that good, but it's really good for her kidneys and bladder.

Does it hurt to urinate? If so, take her to see her doctor. Also note the color of her urine. If it's yellow, she needs to drink more water. The darker the urine, the more dehydrated your child is, and the lighter the color, the more cleansed her bladder will be.

However, if it hurts to urinate, she probably won't want to drink more fluids. That's why seeing the MD would be a good idea. You might even want to get an early a.m. urine sample, and keep it in the refrig until your app't (same day, tho) That way you don't have to mess with getting a sample at the doc's, and the early morning sample is stronger, so a test for an infection would be easier.

Our youngest had bladder infections from age 4 to 8 or 9. Chronically, and she ended up on a low level antibiotic for most of that time. She hated being 'abnormal" and she tried ot hide it when it flared up, but as her body matured, she outgrew it. Once in a while now, we go back to shotglasses of cranberry juice. She calls it her whiskey (not that any of the rest of us drink it -- must be from listening to country music) and her older sister had to have a shot glass, too, at one point, so she could join in the "whiskey" shots ! Cranberry juice comes mixed with grape juice these days, and also with rasberry, and I like it with apple -- mixed at home, and all of those make it more palatable, cuz cranberries are kind of bitter by themselves. (Of course, I actually like cranberry juice with no sugar added, but I doubt any kids would drink it that way)

Good luck.

My one daughter has had issues where she complains that it hurts "done there" and had looked a little irratated. my dr. has recomended a warm bath of vinager and water. I want to say it was 1/2 a cup in a shallow warm bath(not sure of the vinager to water ratio) But just let her soak in that for a while every night and see what happens I believe it helps to soothe any irratation. Hope this helps!

Baby powder could be causing the irritation, too. I really don't think that doctors recommend baby powder use on chilren anymore. Especially little girls (and women for that matter). It gets all caked up in there, add a little moisture from sweat or urine, and you have a nice little infection. My daughter is 5 and sometimes complains of her vagina hurting. When I look in there, there is usually toilet tissues fuzz. I just wipe gently with a non-scented, hypo-allergenic wet wipe and then she is good to go. If she keeps complaining, I would go to the doctor. It's no fun having discomfort or pain down there! Good luck. Hope this helps.

I would definitely take her to the doctor because it could be many different things. I have two little girls and sometimes it helps to just let them "air out" with no bottoms at night, but if that doesn't work, then it could be a bacterial or yeast infection that needs treatment. Another strong possibility (which my kids have had twice) is pinworms--a majority of kids have them at least once, but most don't know it. It's incredibly easy to pass from child to child in playgrounds, preschools, etc and the worms come out at night and cause itching and pain all through the rectal and vaginal area. Treatment is easy-a couple of doses of medication two weeks apart-except that you have to wash EVERYTHING. Good luck!

My daughter gets the same thing. It's just a common yeast infection. The doctor recommended that I use a mixture of external yeast cream (vagisil) and triple paste or desitin. I keep a little container of the mixture (1/2 & 1/2). Put it on really thick before she goes to bed and the irritation is usually gone overnight. Sometimes it takes two nights. Also use onley unscented Dove bar soap. My daughter had alot of UTIs until we switched to scent free everything. Hope this helps.



I know what your going thru my daughter suffers from the same thing. She gets frequent UTIs and if she is on any kind of antibiotic it will cause a yeast infection. You are right too that she may not be wiping good enough. get her kandoos or any kind of flushable moist wipes have her use that first then the tp. Also do not give her bubble baths and wash her with Dove Bar soap the plain white one(it has no allergens in it) Also my ped gave me a prescript for an antifungal cream (lotriman)yeah i know i was confused to and yes it is for athletes feet but it really works or vagisil. the vagisil cream has a numbing agent in it it can stop the burn. I have been dealing with this since she was still in diapers and she is turning 5 in week and has been out of diapers since she was 20 months old. I used to take her everytime because it would swell 3 or 4 times its size. But if your unsure never hesitate to take her to the ped.

I would see a doctor and STOP putting baby powder on the area. The baby powder could be adding to the irritation.

I can't say whether its yeast, however, you would likely notice some discharge on her panties if it were. My daughter, however, has a very sensitive area which seems to be always red. She really is better off if I use fragrance free detergents, and I still have to bathe her with baby soap at age 6. You may try this, plus wipe it out well every day or two (I still wipe my daughter with a baby wipe every night before bed if she doesn't bathe) and use the baby powder if she has an issue. Some girls are just high maintenance : )

This is very common in girls after they potty train. The wiping is not great and when in diapers we clean and keep it dry and now it stays wet and irritaited. Help her clean after she goes to the bathroom use potty wipes and have her wipe gently and pat dry with toilet paper. Make sure her underwear is changed often if even a drip wet. She is just irritated and you could use a soothing cream but not cream for yeast unless you are sure it is because it is more irriatating then you know.

First of all, I would say def take her to the dr cause it could be yeast or bacterial.

Saying that, I had trouble with this all thru my child hood. I was extremely sensitive to soaps, detergents, and even foods. I could not take bubble baths and we had to use unscented detergents. I would say that you should try switching to sensitive soaps and either stopping baths or giving a shower after to make sure she gets well rinsed down there. Also, maybe have her go without panties to bed or when possible as yeast and bacteria grow in warm moist places. The no panties will help air and dry it out. I would try switching detergents as well or atleast doing a double rinse.

Hope this helps!

I heard you should never ever put baby powder near the vaginal opening, as it could cause all kinds of problems including (if I remember correctly) cancer.

Hi M.,

Take your daughter to her pediatrician and get her examined.

Good luck. D.

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