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Noticed sore on vaginal area. Hurts to touch. What could this be?

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My daughter who is 4 has a sore on the left inside of her vagina. What could this be? She's been complaining that it hurts for about a week. At first I thought we just need to clean it more so I gave her more frequent baths to soothe her. At first I thought it was her urinary area and put some Vaseline on it but she kept complaining, and she finally kept pointing to the inside of her vagina so I looked in there and there appears to be a large sore looking thing on the left side.
Posted Sun, 10 Feb 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 23 minutes later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

There are multiple causes of inflammation of the vulvar and vaginal area in pre-pubertal girls. This can be the result of:
1. Infection (such as yeast - but this likely would not affect just one side)
2. Congenital abnormalities (these are not uncommon, but are usually not found until there is an attempt to insert a tampon or later with difficult intercourse)
3. Trauma
4. A foreign body (which could act as an irritant, such as toilet paper)
5. A vaginal polyp or tumor (these are rare)

The best thing that you can do is to take her in to see the Pediatrician. If there is any confusion, or if they are uncomfortable with the exam, then referral to a Pediatric Gynecologist or someone with this expertise would be the next best step. I believe that you can get this figured out, but it will take someone with experience in dealing with such a young aged female.

If you have any followup questions, please ask. Good luck to you both!
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Follow-up: Noticed sore on vaginal area. Hurts to touch. What could this be? 5 minutes later
Actually I looked further and yes, she does have another one on the other side, a small one. The likelihood of the other options seem low. What do I need to do to treat an infection?
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 2 hours later
Please describe these better for me.

Are they isolated areas of redness?
What is there exact size (e.g. in relation to the size of a coin)?
Are they raised or flush with the surrounding vaginal skin?
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed sore on vaginal area. Hurts to touch. What could this be? 9 minutes later
What I can see are at the openings. To the left side it is redish but no white stuff and about half the size of a dime. On the right there is one 1/4 size of a dime.

It is actually more crater like, a dip instead of raised or flush.
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 14 minutes later
So these sound like bilateral (both sides) small redish ulcers. These should be checked out by a doctor. It does not sound like a yeast infection, and could be the result of either trauma or some other type of infection.

The fact is, it is new problem that has developed over the course of about a week or more, and it is uncomfortable for her. While you can do comfort measures like you have been doing, the best thing is to get someone to check this out. It would be virtually impossible to diagnose it without actually looking at the area with an exam and taking appropriate cultures.

It would help if you wrote down what you know about the symptoms:
1. When did this exactly start?
2. Have you noticed any discharge or odor?
3. Does she scratch or rub the area without realizing what she is doing?
4. Is there any bleeding or bruising?


I hope that this helps! Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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