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Urethritis with Vulvitis (Caused by Soap)

Brief Version

What is causing the pain?

Your little girl may have pain, burning, or stinging when she urinates (pees). Bubble bath, shampoo, or soap can cause her vagina and the area around her vagina to be tender or sore. If any of those parts are sore, it can hurt when your little girl pees.

How can I take care of my child?

Here's what you can do to help:

Have your little girl soak in a basin or bathtub of warm water for 20 minutes.

  • Put 4 tablespoons of baking soda in the water.
  • Be sure she spreads her legs and allows the water to soak the area around her vagina.
  • Do not use soap.
  • Soak every 4 hours during the day on the first day. After that soak just once a day until the symptoms are gone.

How can I help prevent the pain from coming back?

  • Do not wash between her legs with soap.
  • Do not use bubble bath or put soap or shampoo in her bath water.
  • Keep bath time short, less than 15 minutes.
  • Have your little girl pee right after she takes a bath.
  • Teach your little girl to wipe from front to back after going to the toilet.
  • Have her go to the bathroom at least every 4 hours during the day.

Call your doctor right away if:

  • The pain when your child goes to the bathroom is very bad.
  • She also has stomach or back pain.
  • Your child starts to act very sick.

Call your doctor during office hours if:

  • She still has pain more than 24 hours after you have had her soak.
  • Your child also has a fever.
  • You have other questions or concerns.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2002-03-21
Last reviewed: 2006-03-02
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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