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Vaginal itching and discharge - child

Causes of vaginal itching


Itching, redness, and swelling of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area (vulva) is a common problem in girls before the age of puberty. Vaginal discharge may also be present. The color, smell, and consistency of the discharge can vary depending on the cause of the problem.

Alternative Names

Pruritus vulvae; Itching - vaginal area; Vulvar itching; Yeast infection - child


Common causes of vaginal itching and discharge in young girls include:

Home Care

To prevent and treat vaginal irritation, your child should:

Teach your child to keep the genital area clean and dry. She should:

Your child should:

DO NOT try to remove any foreign object from a child's vagina. You may push the object back farther or injure your child by mistake. Take the child to a health care provider right away for removal.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your child's provider right away if:

Also call if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will examine your child and may do a pelvic exam. You will be asked questions to help diagnose the cause of your vaginal itching. Tests may be done to find the cause.

Your provider may recommend drugs, such as:


Davis AJ, Katz VL. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology: gynecologic examination, infections, trauma, pelvic mass, precocious puberty. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 12.

Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM. Vulvovaginitis. In: Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, eds. Nelson's Essentials of Pediatrics. 7th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 115.

Sucato GS, Murray PJ. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology. In: Zitelli, BJ, McIntire SC, Norwalk AJ, eds. Atlas of Pediatric Diagnosis. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 18.

Review Date: 4/5/2016
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.