I would not use soap in the bath at all (no shampoo, no bar soap, etc) for a while and see if that helps. Definitely do not use soap on the vaginal area. The vagina keeps itself very clean, and just the water from the bath is enough to rinse it well. Soap could be irritating her. It's called contact dermititis. I know from my own experiences, I can be very irritated by soaps, drier sheets, detergents, bubble baths, anything chemical that may come into contact with my vaginal area. I also have switched to showering only sometimes, because the soap from my hair is washed off much more quickly than if I'm bathing. Also, if you can get her to sometimes go pantiless or something at home, it's good to have the air circulation.
If wiping seems to be irritating her, or if she isn't doing it correctly, you could have her switch to squirting a peri-bottle of warm water after she pees, and then just don't wipe, just let the water dry off. Or just dab with a washcloth.
The other thing is, IMO, you don't really need to wash her vulva or inside her labia. Just the water swooshing around is enough, IMO. Washing it might actually irritate it more, and brings more attention to it. I would probably just leave it alone, and not even talk about it, not ask her to wash herself, either.
GL! I've had all sorts of issues with vaginal irritation, so I've tried lots of things. Eventually something works.
One thing that has helped is bathing more frequently. Not *washing* more frequently, but just letting her sit and play in the bath water. we only wash her maybe 2x a week unless she gets filthy playing outside or something. And when we do wash her, it's the very last thing we do before she gets out of the tub, so she's not sitting in soap. i definitely notice when we bathe less frequently, she complains more.
i have considered getting some wet wipes for her to use, thinking it might make it easier and more comfortable to wipe herself. but those things often have weird chemicals and scents in them, and we're both extremely sensitive to that kind of thing, so i'm not sure it would help.
In the bath she plays in the water and I wash and condition her hair (curly, sigh...) and that's it.
No reason to *wash* inside or outside.
In the meantime, I second the suggestions that you eliminate any potential irritants (soaps, bathroom cleaners, laundry detergents). I wonder if it hurts because she wipes too hard and has irritated that delicate skin. Maybe get super-soft TP or family cloth and emphasize the need to be gentle?
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What does she wear to bed? Can she wear a nightgown w/o panties? And only all cotton, lightweight panties during the day.
Hope this clears up!
Id try soap free baths and just a quick hair wash and rinse.
My dd has eczema and we avoid sitting in soapy water, he vulva could be irritated from soap or bubble bath or shampoo in the water.
My dd takes soap free baths and then i soap up her hair and rinse her standing......
My DD (4 1/2) has just started noticing her normal, healthy secretions and has been rubbing at it, trying to wipe it off. She is always red and irritated after but a plain water bath makes things better (adding baking soda can be soothing too). I've talked to her about what it is and how it is suppose to be there to keep her vulva clean like earwax, boogies and tears. She gets it and has started to leave it alone. She has stopped complaining of an itchy vulva
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Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (11y) and one sweet boy (7y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
I do not think you are supposed to wash inside. Being in water should be more than enough.
At 3-4yr I stated to tell dd to give wash with her hands and water while in the shower if I thought she smelled like pee.
We never use soap for bathing the kids. My ds has severe eczema and I found that a salt sea bath was really good at getting rid of yeast infections and warding off impetigo which goes hand in hand w/eczema. IMVHO I think soap is overrated!
Just wondering if your DD could get it from moisture, a wet bathing suit...
She too isn't wipeing very well, we DO try to keep some wet wipes-made for toddlers (target brand work well for our sensative exzma prone skin believe it or not! crazy) and recently she says she has an owie, needs "medicine" or diaper rash ointment. Well when she let's me look, she's BRIGHT RED and has green buildup in there. SO, we do the ointment, I help her wash for an afternoon, and she's fine by the 3rd time she goes potty. Strange.
I have a family history of women with yeast infection after yeast infection. Maybe that's something to look into- if it's normal for your "family" then maybe you need to cut the foods that contribute to yeast, STOP the prolonged baths', avoid at all cost bubble bath and scented soaps/shampoos.
You could also start explaning about how sensative that skin is- and that she has to use her extra soft hands. I explained to my DD that she needs to touch very lightly- like we do with some pretty breakable knick knacks.
I hope she starts to outgrow this phase soon, as I hope mine will also- but I have yet another little girl about to potty train too! OY!!! I hope your DD starts to feel better soon. I would take her to the doc, if you have a good reliable doc that isn't going to traumatize her! If you do have a good doc, it might do her some good to hear from the Doctor that she needs to wipe, and to be easy, Kids always listen to the authority figures. Sending you Healing Vibes!
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Since K was 3 she had recurring redness/irritation. I thought that she wasn't wiping well, etc. Did frequent baths (we don't "wash" our vulva here--just swish warm plain water around). Sometimes added baking soda to it. It would go away for a while and keep coming back. It got VERY red sometimes and would extend to her anus. Talked to dr about it--got the wiping answer (of course it wasn't happening on our "well child" visits). I started wiping her again and we bought the wet wipes for poop. Still happened. This last fall/winter I started watching her wipe and she does a really good job. Then I started monitoring her vulva and anal area. Turned our that it started around the anus--I had always thought it was the other way around. So I thought anal ring, maybe allergies. Did eliminations that weren't helpful.
FINALLY--I called the doctor (2 weeks ago) and said that I would not accept wiping as an answer. I wanted an allergy test or SOMETHING else. So, I brought her in and thankfully it was still red. She had group A strep. I have no idea how long she had it. I felt terrible that it went on for so long but glad we got an answer. She is finishing her medication today. Hopefully it won't come back. If it does, dr wants to investigate for cause.
Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (12), Maya (8).
* Gone back to 100% pure products. We do this religiously for babies/tots but the older kids have been using our soap and mainstream "kid shampoos" because they used it at grandma's and thought it was so cool and yeah I know fabulous reason but there it is. We only use pure, organic, fragrance-free etc. products for soap, shampoo, and so on now.
* After a bath, a clear water "stand-up rinse" of her bottom.
* If she's not taking a bath that night, she does a rinse of her bottom before bed. I got a cheap plastic squirt bottle (the kind you get from CVS for use as a travel shampoo or conditioner bottle) and fill it with clean lukewarm water from the bathroom sink. She squirts it while sitting on the toilet which works perfectly because it rinses down, "the right way" and into the toilet. A blot dry with a towel, that's it.
* Help her wipe and remember to wipe front to back etc.
NEVER EVER EVER do bubble baths, "washing" of the area with any soap etc.
Also, she's had pinworms twice since Jan. I read pinworms can crawl up inside little girls vaginas. They die in there, but can cause terrible itching, which leads to scratching or rubbing which leads to pain and sensitivity. Just another thought.
Genie, mama to T (4/02), I (10/04) and T (7/09)