Reasons for Bad Vaginal Smell in Kids
Q: Hi, my daughter is 2 years old. There is a bad odor in her vagina. I thought it is a lack of hygiene but it smells even half an hour after bath. Is there anything I can do? Please advice.
There can be many reasons for this bad odor coming from the vagina.
Lack of Cleanliness
This has to be put as the commonest cause. Young girls poop in the diaper itself. There are chances that some fecal soiling of the vagina may occur.
Always clean the baby as soon as possible after she defecates. Clean her liberally with flowing tap water. This would be the best way to wash off all dirtiness.
It is alright to just wipe off small babies, but a 2 year old eats proper food. So she needs to be washed nicely and liberally with tap water.
Let her be without the diaper for few hours in a day. This is to keep the area well aerated.
How to Wash?
There are certain rules to be followed while washing. These are as follows:
- Always clean from front to back, whether you’re wiping it with a tissue or washing with water.
- It’s better to wash the area gently with water, and not use alcohol wipes. These may irritate the baby’s skin. Furthermore, cleaning is not very complete with their use.
- Avoid using hot water. Water at room temperature would be the best.
- Dab dry after washing with a clean towel. Avoid using blow dryers, which may render the soft skin down there dry and itchy.
Just as grown up girls have this infection, baby girls may also have it. The condition has a typical fishy odor. You will also be able to notice some signs of inflammation, like-
- Redness in the area around the vagina
- Little bumps may be there
- Baby cries when she is wiped or cleaned as she has some pain
Treatment would be taking antibiotics for some time. It would be better to take her to a doctor for checkup. After the diagnosis is confirmed, she can start her medicines.
Yeast or Candida Infection
The odor here is like that of rotten bread or alcohol. Signs of inflammation may be present. Some itchiness is often there around the vaginal orifice.
The condition is always treated by putting anti-fungal topical cream and observing good hygiene in the area. Letting the girl be without the diaper for some time in a day would be essential to ensure that the area is clean and dry.
Accumulation of moisture in the area is the main reason for such infections.
Rarely, baby girls may put some small toy (like a Barbie shoe) in her vaginal canal. This foreign body rots in the vaginal canal and gives out a smell.
This can be ascertained only after check up by a doctor.
Change in Vaginal pH
Toddler girls are often found to be playing in bubbles baths for long hours. Long stay in soapy water is not recommended, an it may change the pH of the vaginal area.
As the pH changes, certain fungi and bacteria present over the skin there, get a chance to proliferate.
Similarly, the use of perfumed soap, gels, oils or emollients is not recommended for that area.