Dec 04, 2012 No Comments
Keeping a little girl’s vaginal area clean and irritant-free is the best way to fend off infection.
You can do this in the following ways:
- Always wipe your daughter front to back when changing her nappy or after she uses the toilet. Teach her to do the same as you prepare her to take over the task herself. If she’s still in nappies, it may be necessary to spread the labia, or lips, of the vagina to clean up after a particularly messy bowel movement.
- Change nappies as soon as they become wet or soiled.
- Once she’s out of nappies dress your toddler only in all-cotton underpants to minimize perspiration and maximize ventilation in the area.
- Avoid bubble baths, bath oils, perfumes, harsh soaps and nappy wipes that contain alcohol and/or perfumes, any of which may trigger an allergic reaction or irritate or ‘burn’ the vagina, predisposing your daughter to vaginal or urinary tract infection. After the bath, rinse your child’s body in fresh water. Rinse the vaginal area with a hand-held shower spray, a small watering can, or a dripping flannel.
- Shampoo your daughter at bath’s end so that she won’t be sitting in potentially irritating shampoo suds. Have her stand as the water drain, and rinse her hair with the shower, a hand-held shower head, or a watering can or plastic cup. Alternatively, you can shampoo her in the sink.
Most Common Genitals Problems in Little Girls
What is it? An inflammation of the vagina and/or the vulva (the external female genitalia).
Who is susceptible? Any female, of any age.
Signs and symptoms. Vaginal itching, a smelly vaginal discharge and, occasionally, vaginal spotting or bleeding (when the inflammation irritates the delicate vaginal lining).
Causes : irritation (from bath water, wet nappies, an inserted object, harsh laundry detergents or soap), which makes the lining of the vagina susceptible to a variety of infectious organisms, such as candida.
Treatment: Medical consultation is necessary; be certain to call the same day if there is any bleeding. The doctor will probably do an examination and take a culture from the area. Depending on the findings, a topical and/or oral medication may be described. If infection has been caused by a foreign body inserted into the vagina, it will be removed. The doctor should be warn the child against putting anything into her vagina, or letting anyone else put something in.
- Vaginal (labial) adhesions.
What is it? A condition in which irritates labia become stuck together.
Who is susceptible? Babies and young girls, because they do not produce oestrogen.
Signs and symptoms. The labia minor (the inner lips of the external female genitalia) adhere to one another; in severe cases, there may be difficulty urination
Causes: Irritation from urine or perspiration makes the labia raw; the raw surfaces then stick together.
Treatment: If the labia can be separated, the child is able to urinate, and there is no pain involved, adhesions aren’t cause for concern; nevertheless, the doctor will probably prescribe an oestrogen cream to promote healing of the labia. In stubborn cases, the cream may have to be applied over a period of time and the labia separated only gradually. Occasionally, the labia must be separated by the doctor with a special instrument. Treatment is important since an inability to urinate or a pooling of urine under the labia could lead to an increase in urinary tract infections. Some girls continue to develop adhesions until puberty, when oestogen production starts up.
Prevention: keep the vaginal area dry; don’t allow a toddler in nappies to stay wet for long, avoid synthetic underwear and trousers or tights to help prevent recurrence.