Vaginitis and Vulvovaginitis
Norton Children’s Gynecology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is the only practice in Kentucky, Louisville and Southern Indiana dedicated to gynecological care of children, adolescents and young women. Our specialists routinely treat vaginitis and vulvovaginitis with expertise and with an understanding of the unique needs of girls and young women.
Pediatric vaginitis and vulvovaginitis are common conditions that cause inflammation and irritation (like itching and redness) of the vagina or vulva. It can occur in girls of any age, from newborns to adolescents.
Vulvovaginitis is the most frequent gynecological disorder encountered in pediatrics. It’s highly treatable and usually clears up within a few weeks.
Causes of Vaginitis or Vulvovaginitis
Because the genital area is close to the anus, bacteria can spread easily — a common cause of vulvovaginitis. In addition, the vulva is sensitive to trauma from scratching, tight-fitting clothes or exposure to irritants such as soaps or bubble baths.
Possible causes of pediatric vulvovaginitis include:
- Irritation due to harsh soaps or chemicals
- Poor hygiene
- Tight clothing
- Allergic reaction
Treatment and Prevention of Vaginitis or Vulvovaginitis
Once the cause of vulvovaginitis is determined, our team can discuss proper treatment. Options may include antifungal cream or antibiotics, though often improved hygiene and vulvar care is all that’s required. A cool compress or petroleum jelly might also be recommended to relieve discomfort.
Hygiene tips to help treat or prevent vulvovaginitis include:
- Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom
- Avoiding the use of harsh or perfumed soaps and bubble baths
- Patting the vulvar area dry after bathing, or allowing it to air dry
- Avoiding tight-fitting, nonbreathable clothing
- Washing clothes in a mild detergent
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