Symptoms and Treatments to Cure Soap Vulvitis

Yesterday my five year old daughter was complaining that it hurt when she sat down, then when she went to the toilet she was crying and saying it hurt when she passed urine. I'm wondering if this could be a urine infection.

There can be two main causes of discomfort and burning pain while passing urine in children. The first cause, noticeable in young girls, is due to a condition called soap vulvitis. Soap vulvitis, a common condition in young girls before puberty, is caused due to irritation by chemicals in bubble bath, shampoo, or soap that was left in genital area. The second cause, as you mentioned, can be due to urine infection. Occasionally, however, it can also be due to poor hygiene.

If it is case of soap vulvitis, you can take the following measures to relieve the irritation and pain. Add around 2-3 spoonful of baking soda in a tub of warm water and let your child sit in the tub. Ensure that she spreads her legs so that her genital area is cleansed properly. Repeat this treatment four times a day for 2 weeks at least. You should also give her plenty of water to drink so that her urine is diluted and becomes less irritating. You can also wash off her genital area with cotton balls and warm water several times. Make your child sit on a toilet seat with legs stretched wide open while cleaning with cotton balls. Avoid bubble baths, soap, and shampoo to the vulva as they are the cause for irritation. Instead, wash her with warm water and baby oil. Do not let soap or shampoo float around the bathtub while your child is taking a bath. Also, limit the bath time to about 15 minutes and wipe her completely dry every time she touches water. Ensure that she wears cotton underpants because synthetic clothes may not allow the skin to breath properly and cause discomfort. The lining of the vulva is very thin and sensitive in young girls before reaching puberty, and hence they cause pain to the child more easily.

Although from your description it seems unlikely to be a urine infection (urine infection has more severe symptoms), it is always good to have a urine test done to ascertain the exact cause of pain during urinating. Urine infection is also very common in children and can show various symptoms. A urine infection is caused by bacteria that come in contact with urine. Most of the infection causing bacteria resides in the children's bowel without doing any harm. However, when the bacteria come in contact with urinary tract, it may cause infection and inflammation. The reason for a child to get a urine infection is retention of urine in the bladder. Constipation or a habit of holding on to urine/feces can also lead to urine infection.

answered by M W

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