6 Year Old Girl - Sensitive Skin/sensitive Area

Updated on April 14, 2013
M.S. asks from Windsor, CA
13 answers

My daughter is 6 years old, and gets a bath pretty much every night. Off and on she complains of it stinging "down there" and it's sometimes very painful when she urinates. It is not a urinary tract infection or yeast infection....it's just something that she lives with off and on (it's definitely not constant). I have taught her how to wipe from front to back, stressing that she reach all the way, because if urine is left there, it can burn sensitive skin.....like diaper rash, right? She says she does. If it hurts particularly bad, she asks for "cream." I've been using A & D ointment or Avalon Organics Zinc diaper balm. Our nurse practitioner said to put baking soda in her bath water, I've been leaving out the bubble bath, and try to wash with just Johnson's. Perhaps I need to switch soaps? Any ideas? I've tried the soap free cleanser Cetaphil. I'm just wondering what else we can do? Sometimes it burns up towards the top, and it can go all the way down close to the anus. Poor little thing is so RED sometimes, it's got to sting! Do any of you know of a good remedy for this? Thanks!

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answers from Raleigh on

Sounds a lot like chafing. I can remember having this myself at this age, and I remember it being hard to walk sometimes it was so painful. Plain old petroleum jelly works very well, like Vasoline or Aquaphor. Keeps the chafing down and acts like a barrier. Also, I have a household of sensitive skin. You might think about changing laundry detergents to free and clear if you haven't already, and bypass the dryer sheets and fabric softener. I use vinegar in the wash as a fabric softener, and it works great (an is much better on that delicate skin).

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answers from Portland on

My 3 year old does the exact same thing. We have tested for several infections, and she is fine. But, we have basically made the problems go away by: 1. Drink more! The urine is too concentrated and so it burns the skin. 2. Baking Soda Baths: NO bubble bath as it will make is worse, and no soap in the water EVER!! Put a shallow bath in warm water with about a cup of baking soda. Make her sit in it for 10 minutes. No more, no less. The soda neutralizes the acidic urine. But, it does it in layers, so you should do this at least once a day, but when it hurts like she is now, 3x or more would be good. 3. Pat pat don't "wipe". The wiping chafes the skin and hurts it, so patting is a better idea.

I think if you do this for the next couple of days it should be a lot better for her. Good luck!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Could be the wiping but I would stop with the Johnsons too. I use an all natural, fragrance free line - California Baby super sensitive. Also, at almost 6 I am trying to transition my daughter to showers. I don't like her to sit in dirty soapy water because she has sensitive skin too. Oh and how dirty does she really get? We only do baths every few days around here. Sometimes we just wash hair in the sink. All that hot water is really drying.

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answers from Washington DC on

My little cousin had the same problem when she was young and it turned out she was wiping too much and rubbing herself raw.

Shower may be better for her, if she is that sensitive.

I never use soap there, I use summers eve. I am very sensitive and any perfumes can irritate me. I don't even use the scented summers eve. I have my daughter use it as well. She has never had a problem but I thought it was best.

Talk with her pediatrician and see if its okay for her to use it.

ETA: Check the ingredients list on the Johnsons and anything else you use, I've found tons of chemicals in stuff, even those for babies. Johnsons has a natural line as well maybe that would be better for her. I haven't read it in so long so I'm not sure what's in it anymore.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, follow the nurse pract advice. NO soap, just some baking soda in the tub. Also, watch what you clean the tub with, residue of cleaners can and do cause problems. Just use baking soda to clean the tub also. Wash her hair in the sink with California Baby shampoo.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Cut the bath to every second day. Every day might be too drying on her sensitive skin.


answers from Lakeland on

If she is that sensitive then I would start giving showers instead of a bath. It could be any of the soaps left behind in the bath water and them not getting totally rinsed off.



answers from Tampa on

I agree that she may be wiping too much. All that chafing/rubbing will make that area VERY sensitive. Patting is fine if she's just peeing. We always use Vaseline/petroleum jelly to help with rash/chafing.

Bubble baths are not good for girls (can lead to infection) anyway. We use Aveeno unscented for our girls since they have fairly sensitive skin, and we do bath every other day.

Hope she feels better soon.



answers from Austin on

If she is red, it very well may be a yeast infection. You might want to get the doctor to check it out just in case.....



answers from San Francisco on

Hmmm. Here are a couple thoughts. Could it be that she is allergic to whatever the bath tub is cleaned with? That it only happens occasionally makes me wonder. I would try switching her to showers for a while and then skip the soap all together down there (just wash well with water)- it's not really needed, and some women (and I assume girls as well) are super-sensitive to soap or maybe just to losing all the natural oils in that area. The other thought is that to maybe see if you can teach her to lean forward as she pees, and then to only "dab" to wipe in the front. I've found that this has helped me immensely, as I've come to realize that wiping from back to front can be a bit irriating (maybe due to the fibers in the TP? Or maybe due to the urine residue left behind?) My last resort would be to take her to a (female) PCP ...might be good to get a doc's thoughts on this issue. I will be praying that her issues get resolved!



answers from San Francisco on

I could be too much wiping/wiping too hard; however, I'm more inclined to think that she is bathing too much. Every other day is fine, unless she gets especially dirty.


answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like she may be wiping too hard or maybe not well enough. My 3yo daughter does this occasionally, and it's usually because she's not wiping well enough. You may want to check her, watch her, or do it for her for a few days and see what happens.

And before anyone says anything about a mom wiping her 6yo... She's only 6, and you are her mother.



answers from Dallas on

The ointment that I use for everything is Butt Paist. It is a wonderful thing and very soothing. But I would also change the detergent you wash her pantys in. That may be irritating her already irritated areas. I know my mom had to double rinse my cloths when I was little. My skin was very sensative.

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