Q: Good evening Dr. Ketch God keep increasing you in knowledge and all for the great works you do. Please I am worried about something that I discovered in my daughter. I noticed she keeps scratching her vagina and once she sees me she will remove her hand instantly. I had to start asking her questions and she told me it has been itching her and she feels pains sometimes when she wants to urinate. I have to check her and noticed she is having a yellowish smelly discharge and that was few hours after having her bath that i checked…the discharge comes with part of it been slippery. I am worried because I soaked her pants with hot water and have taught her how to clean up after potty. Kindly assist on how i can treat this timely to avoid a complicated issue. She is just six (6) years old. Awaiting your response quickly. Thank you.
A: I am slightly worried about the fact that she was hiding when she saw you. She needs to be comfortable enough to tell you if anything is wrong. Sometimes, in our bid to protect our children, we over-parent them by being over-protective. Oftentimes, we do not let them express thoughts they have and so they end hiding things from us.
The cause of the vaginal discharge can actually be a foreign body that got in there…a hair bead or even a bit of tissue left after cleaning up, for example. That is sufficient to cause significant discharge. That is sufficient to cause significant discharge.
Other causes include:
- Prolonged contact between skin in the genital area and faeces and/or urine
- Other skin irritants like perfume, use of bubble bath and/or perfumed soap
- Lack of cleanliness.
- Bacterial infections
- Other infections like measles
Poor personal hygiene is a common cause as children start to go to school and begin to take care of their hygiene themselves especially after using the bathroom. It is critical that our babies are taught to clean themselves properly by wiping from the front to the back. Please do some sort of spot check to ensure that they have cleaned thoroughly 😀
If the discharge is cheesy white and thick, it may be candidiasis…given the itching associated with it. Candida is not a usual cause of vaginal discharge in this age group, though. Please let the doctor confirm the diagnosis. He will take a detailed history and find out what exactly this discharge is or is not.
If it is due to candidiasis, it may be due to immune system compromise by antibiotics and is also found in children diagnosed with diabetes.
To prevent this discharge, start by ensuring your baby wears loose cotton undies and do not give her antibiotics she does not need. As had been mentioned on this page before, all that is needed to wash your delicate inner self is clean water and clean hands. Teach her that. Ensure that your baby dries properly, especially the vulval area (pat dry) after a bath to prevent the build-up of fluid and warmth that encourages fungal growth. Discourage tight clothing and if anything, encourage her to wear skirts. Encourage her to also sleep without underwear at night as often as possible and if your home situation is conducive enough for it.
More importantly, take her in to see the doctor and confirm the exact diagnosis.
Have a great day, y’all 😀