Bad Rash on My 3 Year Olds Private Area

Updated on January 08, 2013
B.L. asks from Gastonia, NC
10 answers

Hey everyone. I need some help. My 3 year old daughter is potty trained (has been for a little over a year). About 4 months ago she got this bad red rash on her girly parts. I already had a doc appointment for a check up so I told him about it while we were there. He checked her out and said it looked ok but he noticed from pushing on her stomach that she was constipated (I had no idea b/c she was still pooing!!) He said this was normal and sometimes when girls are constipated it causes leakage which can get into the girly area and cause infection. He told me an over the counter cream I could get and that was that. It was gone within a few days. Well now it is back with a vengeance! Right before Christmas it came back but was just red and the cream was working, but it would come back a few days later. I called after their new years break and got her in b/c it looks absolutely horrible now. Her skin is peeling a little now and it looks like she has blisters. He checked her and said he wasn't exactly sure what it was. He went over a few things with me and in the end he decided we should use Nystatin cream along with Hydrocortisone cream twice a day. He said it should clear up within a few days and if it's not gone in a week to take her back. That was Thursday, and it's actually gotten worse. It's so bad she wakes up in the night crying and she walks funny b/c it hurts to let it rub together. She's in pain and I don't know how to fix it! We've been doing the no panties since it first started. If we're home, she runs around naked alot. And I'm making sure her pants aren't tight and things like that. I don't know what else to do for her. If anyone has any suggestions I would LOVE to hear them. I'm at my wits end and I feel terrible for her!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all your advice. I have stopped giving her bubble baths since you said that could be causing it. I've also started putting Vasoline on it and tht seems to be helping a lot!! She's actually been able to sleep during the next the past 2 nights and she hasn't been complaining as much either. You ladies are great and thank you so much for your help! :) The redness and swelling has gone down some also.

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answers from Houston on

My 7 year old daughter had something like this that lasted months and nothing would work. Sometimes it looked like red, wrinkled skin and it would blister every once in a while. I finally took her to a pediatric dermatologist and it was genital psoriasis. She prescribed a mild steroid cream and within a few days it cleared up. It still came back every once in a while and I would put a dab of the cream on and it would clear up. Now, it is completely gone and I don't have to use the cream at all anymore!

Hopefully, that's what this is and you'll get answers soon! Best of luck, it's so frustrating trying to get answers and going from doctor to doctor!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Pediatric dermatologist. Your doctor already tried the obvious fixes - hydrocortisone and nystatin (although I had better luck on yeast diaper rashes with OTC vaginal yeast creams than nystatin).

The only other thing I can think of is to let her sit in an oatmeal bath before bed. I like the Aveeno colloidal oatmeal bath mix.

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answers from Fort Myers on

Make sure you use fragrance free soaps to bathe her. Aveeno makes a good product and they sell powder for oatmeal baths as well. Try an anti fungal cream, the pharmacist can recommend one. She may not be wiping correctly. Try flushable wipes for sensitive skin and make sure she wipes well after urinating and pooping. I've found sometimes Vaseline works better than expensive creams. Good luck.


answers from San Francisco on

Okay, the hydrocortisone is setting off alarm bells for me. My older daughter had eczema on her face, and of course, most doctors will have you put hydrocortisone on for that. Fine. HOWEVER, using hydrocortisone, especially at prescription strengths, for more than 3 days can actually cause a skin infection that is red, itchy and spreads like crazy. (It took 6 weeks and 3 doctors before we figured this out, by the way...) Anyway, the condition is called Perioral Dermatitis, and the medication that finally cleared it up is called Metronidazole Topical Cream 0.75%. Be aware that it can take 4-6 weeks for this condition to clear up after you start using the medication (and, stop using the hydrocortisone immediately!).

Here are some links about Perioral Dermatitis, so you can see if this is what the rash looks like, and a copy/paste from one of the websites:

What causes perioral dermatitis?

The exact cause is not clear. However, in many cases the rash seems to be triggered by one or more of the following:
Steroid creams and ointments are a main trigger. See below for details.
Make-up, cleansers and cosmetics applied to the area affected on the face. It may be that certain ingredients of cosmetics may act as the trigger. For example, one study found that make-up foundation seemed to be a particular provoking factor.
Physical factors such as strong winds and ultraviolet (UV) light.
Fluorinated toothpaste has been suggested as a possible trigger.
Yeasts and bacteria that live on the skin and in hair follicles have been suggested as a possible trigger. (However, perioral dermatitis is not just a simple skin infection.)
Hormone factors may play a part as some women find that the rash becomes worse just before a period.
The oral contraceptive pill may be a factor in some cases.



answers from Raleigh on

My daughter was allergic to any ointment with zinc in it and it would turn her very red.


answers from Norfolk on

The Aveeno oatmeal bath is very soothing and with it also add about 1 cup of plain yogurt to her bath water.
Dry her off completely after her bath.
After she goes potty make sure she's wiped and clean.
Have her drink plenty of water and keep her fiber up.
It's really hard to tell if it's an infection or yeast or an allergic reaction.
Seeing a dermatologist would be a good idea.



answers from Portland on

My daughter had something similar to this, almost exactly. What finally worked was making sure to wipe very well, front to back, and that there was no "urine drips" left over. We started by giving her a sitz bath at least 3x a day with baking soda. I mean a lot of baking soda, like 4 tablespoons full in a small amount of water. This is what the 4th or 5th doctor said to do, and so we did. (We even went to the dermatologist.) I used a baby bathtub to get the small amount of water. She can't sit in the water for more than 10 minutes, including any bath she takes. This took about 2 weeks to clear up and heal all together. But, she did feel better within a couple of days. Basically what happens is that body's acid stays on the skin and hurts it; the baking soda neutralizes it and takes off a little bit at a time. More with each bath. Now we have to make sure that we help her wife until she's bigger, but we have only had 1 sore bottom/girly area since July when we figured this out. I hope its as simple as this for your little one. I know how bad that can hurt! and yes, we went through the hydrocortisone, the stronger corticosteriod, and testing for yeast, bacteria, etc. Nothing! good luck to you and to her!! If I can help more or if you have questions, please let me know.

Oh, we also found rashes on her low back and upper thighs from drinking cow milk. This also constipated her so badly that she would cry. I don't know if your daughter drinks cow milk or not, but maybe try cutting that for a few days. We switched to goat and are not having those problems either.



answers from Des Moines on

I think too a dermatologist is needed now. I just wanted to add that my daughter gets a rash down there when she's too busy to use the potty and just let's a little leak out. I do not know if that is the issue here....or just a part...or not at all...just wanted to let you know.



answers from Portland on

I agree with taking her to a pediatric dermatologist. The only other things I can think of are either a yeast infection (candida) or perhaps strep (babies get 'strep butt', and I haven't heard of it being found on the groin area, but it's worth asking about).



answers from Appleton on

Does she wear cotton or nylon panties? Keep her in cotton panties it will help a lot.

I would try an anti-fungal. It sounds like a yeast infection. You can get a good anti-fungal at Dollar Tree.

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